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Phideaux - Ghost Story CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.63 | 204 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Working backwards can be difficult sometimes. The first Phideaux album which I heard all the way through was Number 7 (TADRDACB). Then I got Chupacabras and Doomsday Afternoon in fairly short order. These three albums are totally stunning. Naturally as a new fan of Phideaux, I decided to explore some more. Ghost Story is the next highest rated album on Prog Archives and Allmusic Guide gives it a very favourable 4.5/5. It seemed like the natural choice.

What makes it difficult to work backwards, is that I now know that Chupacabras was something of a turning point. Ghost Story has the makings of what will make Phideaux so phenomenal on those aforementioned follow up albums, but it hasn't gelled yet. The compositions are much shorter and overall the rock is a little more on the straight forward side. Phideaux, was by no means a run of the mill "generock" band. All the songs are still story tellers and there really are some great tracks on this album. It isn't all there yet.

What I miss most from those later works (that sentence is a bit of a mind job), is female lead vocals and the gratuitous use of piano. I have put down my reviews for Chupacabras and TADRDACB and in both cases highlighted those features as standouts.

Now that I have established my feelings regarding expectations for the album, let's see what it's made of. Everynight is the best song from the first half. It has the feel of Party and the better aspects of Ruffian on the Stairs from its successor. Great vocals, fuzzy guitars. Feel the Radiation is of a similar feel as well, but it is probably the most conventional track. On a later effort I could see the band tying these two together.

The Curse of Miracles is also very straight forward. It almost has a touch of U2 to it. Not something you hear very often on this site. The Kiteman is alright. If one song captures the condition of the album, this would be it. Close but not quite. Wily Crilley, is a bit of an odd one. It is probably the point where the album starts to make a swing towards more interesting sounds, but still doesn't blow me away.

Out of the gate comes the darker and moody (Is that piano I hear!?) track number 6: Beyond the Shadow of Doubt. This is both the longest and strongest track on Ghost Story. This is a short but excellent Phideaux epic. Nice vocal modification too. This is ALMOST the band that made Chupacabras. Ghostforest isn't bad. It feels a little more like the earlier tracks and sort of isn't appropriate sandwiched between two excellent tracts. As you may have guessed, Universally is another great piece. Great acoustic guitar. Just solidifies this little idea that I've got that Phideaux is a fan of Jethro Tull. This one came from the same band that will bring you Titan and Fortress an album later. The same can be said for Come Out Tonight, another mellow track with some strange sounds starting to creep in. This is the final track and the last of the three show stoppers.

In closing it is a solid album. Good, but not essential. Has one heck of a captivating cover. If you are interested in a more conventional sound or are an explorer of Phideaux's sound, don't hesitate to pick this one up. For the discerning progger who wants to get in on this Phideaux character we've all heard so much about lately, you can pass this one over and get started with Chupacabras.

Three times out of five I like this one.

R-A-N-M-A | 3/5 |


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