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Phideaux - Number Seven CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.03 | 548 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Until last week PHIDEAUX was just a name for me, always read about him, but every time I was going to buy an album, there was another priority, so time kept passing and never got a copy.

A few days ago I was buying the EPIGNOSIS download and for some strange reason also bought "Number Seven", probably more for curiosity due to the contradictory reviews than for real conviction, thanks God I did it, the album is worth every penny, at this moment my priority is to aquire his previous releases.

The album is divided in three suites (Or multi part epics if you want) of about 20 minutes, recorded almost as a Conceptual album about opposites, don't know if good-evil, masculine-feminine, Ying-Yang or whatever (My English has some limits), but it's intelligent and keeps the interest, what at last is the main objective.

The album starts with "Dormouse Ensnared"

"Dormouse - A Theme": Is a beautiful acoustic intro, people talk about PINK FLOYD, GENESIS or whoever they want influence, but it's an original and incredible acoustic section with a Medieval touch that sets the idea in motion.

"Waiting For The Axe To Fall makes the perfect contrast, vibrant and powerful, but without allowing all the strength free, the piano is delightful and the choirs in the vein of Pink Floyd match perfectly with the oneiric lead vocals. Don't expect radical changes, the name of the game is "thick and dense atmospheres", love it.

"Hive Mind": The rhythmic piano and the vocals in march tempo mark a transitional moment in the suite, the use of different keys is just brilliant and accurate, even though sounds inspired in Baroque music, thers's something that pulls us back a couple of centuries to the late Medieval period, After the middle of the track the real thing begins with extreme time changes and powerful passages, this is Prog Rock at it's best.

"The Claws Of A Crayfish" is the logical continuation of "Hive Mind", but this time PHIDEAUX gives more attention to the drama and melancholy over the dreamy atmosphere present from the start, the orchestration is simply delightful and impressive, even more when the heartbreaking violin and chorus complete the effect, really this guys keep surprising me, and please pay attention to the Moog performance at the middle of the song.

"My Sleeping Slave" is the perfect coda for the first suite, the dark mysterious piano and the Moog create a delicate atmosphere and the vocals add that PINK FLOYD touch so widely recognized in PHIDEAUX. An absolutely dramatic song with some dissonant chorus that add more beauty and interest. By this point I'm thrilled with the album.

Dormouse Escapes

The acoustic guitar announces the beginning of "Darkness at Noon" a very short folksy intro with breathtaking choirs and good vocals, flows gently from start to end leading to the more dramatic "Prequiem", which has extremely beautiful keyboards and electric guitar played in the style of Dave Gilmour.

"Gift of the Flame" maintains the dreamy atmosphere with a combination of electric and acoustic guitars, plus for the first time a saxophone that adds a jazzy feeling, the drumming by Rich Huchins is fantastic. But then a sudden change, the feminine vocals help to create a more cheerful atmosphere, another good example of modern Progressive Rock.

"Interview with a Dormouse" is pompous and brilliant, something PHIDEAUX has been avoiding from the start, but again changes into a troubadouresque song which connects to the weird "Thermonuclear Cheese", after a chant the songs morphs into something I can only describe as a bit electronic a bit Symphonic, with Baroque organ adding extra pomp.

"The Search for Terrestrial" is another weird song with narration and close to New Age/Celtic vocals, not my cup of tea but coherent with the structure of he album

"A Fistful of Fortitude" closes the second suite in a nostalgic mood, well at least at the beginning, because as the song advances gets more cheerful and melodic just to end soft and melodic again, very nice touch.

Dormouse Enlightened

Starts with the dreamy intro of "Love Theme From "Number Seven" but then Phideaux Xavier delights us with a fantastic piano solo, after some seconds a haunting female chant supports him, and only then the whole band joins, allowing a distorted guitar take the lead for instants, but that's not all, the piano retakes the lead role and guides the band to a frantic passage with everything that can be imagined, just wonderful piece of art.

Without interruption "Storia Senti" and the sentimental piano starts, a distant guitar joins with the powerful vocals in an elaborate work that starts to fade allowing some kind of re- birth, much faster and closer to traditional Rock. After this the song flows gently towards the end not before a magnificent keyboard and piano instrumental break and a couple of musical explosions, by this point I'm ready to expect the unexpected...............But hey, this is what Prog is about.

"Infinite Supply" starts more or less in the vein of the early ALAN PARSON'S PROJECT albums, with a majestic piano and vocals, in the background the violin adds some nostalgia, again the song flows gently without surprises, really touching.

The album is closed with "Dormouse", a song that again makes me remember some PINK FLOYD material but with something special, so hard to describe that I won't even try to do it, just will enjoy the music and sghut up.

Before reviewing "Number Seven" I was surprised, not because the high ratings but for the short reviews, after struggling for hours I can explain this, the album is easy and pleasant to listen, but incredibly hard to describe, seems that PHIDEAUX XAVIER is a perfectionist and adds what he feels is necessary without caring for genres or tags, and this is precisely what I liked more, being that rediscovered my capacity of surprise even after almost three decades of Progressive Rock.

Before I end, it's necessary to say I almost rated this excellent album with 5 stars, but being the first one I listen by this band, I will be conservative and give 4 very solid stars that should be 4.5 if possible.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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