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Phideaux - Chupacabras CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.88 | 277 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album's genesis brings us back in the days of the "Fiendish" recordings. Phideaux had already worked on an epic song but it was not finalized yet to be included on this album. "Chupacabras" is now the centrepiece of this one.

Over twenty minutes of fully progressive music (gone are the poor days of his first two releases). There are lots of different themes, often flirting with the symphonic style I like so much.

The whole song is amazing and features beautiful female vocals (Valerie Gracious). It reminds me at times the great "Genesis" or the early Oldfield and maybe therefore pleases me so much. Don't get me wrong: this song is not at all derivative. It is a fully original number offering a great musical experience. It is almost love at first sight.

Surprisingly melodic, it also features some pastoral and more folkish parts. The finale brings us back where it started, which is one of the characteristics of an epic, right?

If ever you are interested in the full story about the album "Chupacabras", you can read Phideaux souvenirs about it on his myspace blog (available from his official website). It is very instructive.

The second central piece of this album is the "Ruffian" suite. A three parts song which clocks at just over ten minutes. The mood is much heavier and dark and intriguing during "Ruffian On The Stairs": it is almost prog-metal oriented! While "Sunburnt" is a more classic Phideaux track which is nicely prolonged with "Return Of The Ruffian" which is my favourite section. Somewhat new-wave oriented (Ultravox!). But I also like this.

The closing song "Titan" was also started during the "Fiendish" sessions but was never finished. The dual vocals (again Valerie) are superb: another great moment of this album. It also conveys some folk atmosphere and could have been played by "Mostly Autumn". A very good song.

The problem of this album is that all the songs are overshadowed by "Chupacabras, mon amour" (as Phideaux calls it) even if all the other ones are good to very good (except "Party").

This album is on par with the prior "Ghost Story". Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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