Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

PHIDEAUX

Crossover Prog • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Phideaux picture
Phideaux biography
PHIDEAUX Xavier - Born 14/01/1963 (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, USA)

PHIDEAUX is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, employing the drumming of Rich Hutchins, producer Gabriel Moffat and a revolving cast of supporting musicians. He has released several progressive/psychadelic inspired albums since 2003 and includes Jethro Tull, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Van Der Graaf Generator, and early Genesis (among many others) as influences.

The first proper album was "Fiendish", which introduced the folky, psychadelic sound of PHIDEAUX. "Ghost Story" mostly consists of material from a previous musical collaboration in the 90s called Satyricon (with Rich Hutchins). "Chupacabras" might be the first album that prog fans lean towards, with the 20+ minute "epic" title track highlighting the album. "313" was an album-in-a-day project that took shape with one day of basic writing and recording, then fleshed out over the course of the next year. Probably the most significant music achievement so far, "The Great Leap" is the first album in a three part trilogy concerning "life in a dystopic eclogically disintegrating world"... but don't let the topic fool you, PHIDEAUX's music at heart is addictive, fun, deep, and compelling all at the same time, with memorable melodies and finely crafted arrangements that represent songwriting at it's finest. Present are some of the prog rock staples in the use of synths, Hammond organ, mellotrons, and other interesting instrumental contributions, as well as multi-section, evolving pieces of music... but rather than rehashing prog cliches or focusing on technical acrobatics, PHIDEAUX's music truly offers something creative and refreshing.

All these albums are consistently great and are very highly recommended for those who love the subtle, folkier, psychadelic side of prog rock with an emphasis on melodic songwriting. This music has a unqiue magic that doesn't come around very often.

Phideaux is a band born of several lifelong friendships and a mutual appreciation of progressive rock. We are refugees from a time when rock and roll was counter-cultural and have come together to mine a dark vein of music steeped with mellotrons, violins and vintage keyboards. We love power chords, tricky time signatures and intricate harmonies, but always there are melodies to be hummed and riffs to invade your mind.

PHIDEAUX Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all PHIDEAUX videos (2) | Search and add more videos to PHIDEAUX

Buy PHIDEAUX Music


PHIDEAUX discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PHIDEAUX top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.02 | 65 ratings
Phideaux Xavier: Friction
1992
3.21 | 151 ratings
Fiendish
2003
3.63 | 204 ratings
Ghost Story
2004
3.85 | 303 ratings
Chupacabras
2005
3.54 | 182 ratings
313
2006
3.30 | 258 ratings
The Great Leap
2006
4.22 | 1073 ratings
Doomsday Afternoon
2007
4.03 | 596 ratings
Number Seven
2009
4.21 | 892 ratings
Snowtorch
2011
4.01 | 385 ratings
Infernal
2018
2.50 | 23 ratings
All Is Number
2020

PHIDEAUX Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PHIDEAUX Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PHIDEAUX Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 8 ratings
Lysogenic Burnt Offerings
2020

PHIDEAUX Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 42 ratings
Tempest of Mutiny
2010
3.78 | 44 ratings
Strange Cloud
2010
4.08 | 60 ratings
Phideaux & Mogon Promotional Issue
2012
3.84 | 32 ratings
We Only Have Eyes for You
2018
0.00 | 0 ratings
Do What You Will (TV Version)
2021

PHIDEAUX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Doomsday Afternoon by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.22 | 1073 ratings

BUY
Doomsday Afternoon
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by ProggyGoose62

3 stars 3.5 stars really ! This is a well produced and compositionally sound album. It's rather pastoral and acoustic despite a myriad of instruments and vocals. It's wistful and plaintive and atmospheric with a somewhat English sensibility. I am most reminded of The Geese and the Ghost as far as overall vibe, with a dash of Clannad and Gryphon tossed in. It's a very pleasant listen. My only issue with it is it never rocks much and none of the melodies are hooky or stuck with you. Formaldehyde was a stand out track for me which recalled Fleetwood Mac. Overall this is more art rock than anything and it's good stuff. The playing is tight but limited soloing etc. Modern Chamber music? I like it I don't love it. Will listen again. The closing track is a true epic prog rock suite with some depth and heaviness and a big highlight. Unfortunately it takes 56 minutes to get to it. If this album were 40 minutes instead of 66 I'd give it 4 stars.
 Snowtorch by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.21 | 892 ratings

BUY
Snowtorch
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by alainPP

5 stars 1. Snowtorch - Part One with 4 drawers for a progressive, varied and intense piece; rock, prog, prog folk, colorful musical climates that span many genres; the emphasis on piano, keyboards, melodies; a sound on the GENESIS of yesteryear, on the FLOWER KINGS, on a Neal MORSE; flute, tambourine, squirting guitar, the perfect 2010 decade production in itself; no boredom, atmospheres with the voices of Linda, Molly, Ariel and Valerie in duo, trio and quartet twirling on bucolic melodies with fairground organ, with grandiloquent air that can be closer to the soundtrack of 'Fantom of the paradise' , from a progressive, baroque and decadent Alice COOPER, from a WHO concept; a sound apart, prog as we no longer dared to imagine, creative, varied, intimate and contemplative; a recreational atmosphere that borders on improvisation with this majestic piano solo; a major piece which shows that creating is much more enjoyable than 'recopying' pieces from the old ones; finale with choirs for a while before returning to jazzy keyboards, with a violin in the distance, a cello which reminds me of the work of MAGYAR POSSE, also explosive; in short, a progressive piece that passes by itself in your mind 2. Helix like a blade bringing a symphonic climate, delicate, carnal vocal, a Patti SMITH-style slow, a crescendic climate on a MAGENTA, a MOSTLY AUTUMN, on a feverish Kate BUSH; a slow, moving rise, a little sound effect and here is a title which is not just an interlude but a little gem

3. Snowtorch - Part Two with 3 drawers here, keyboards and choirs intro, arpeggio imprinting the tune, a rise of more than 3 minutes with metronomic drums to start with a discordant sound effect with icy wind; acoustic western guitar and a heavy riff accompanying the keyboard, the ever-present drums avoiding boredom; this is the key word of this progressive piece which now sends on a Genesisian organ... energetic; it's just halfway through that the voice of one of the singers begins; every 10 minutes you are entitled to a papa papa pappa which would be laughable in French; there it is cheerful that all languages are not equal; here is a guitar solo and phrasing eyeing that of Alice again; the finale on this piano holding the frantic rhythm with the warm choirs 4. (hidden, uncredited) and a folk title with a steady rhythm, somewhere between festive, bucolic and solemn; just enjoyable to remember that this album is giant.

 Snowtorch by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.21 | 892 ratings

BUY
Snowtorch
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I think if there is an artist I can name off the top of my head that is style over substance, I have to pick Phideaux Xavier, or just Phideaux. In Phideaux's run of albums, I never heard a miss from this man. Not every album is a masterpiece mind you, but Phideaux definitely has a strong knack for creating really great experiences. What I do think are masterpieces is his 5 album run of The Great Leap through Infernal. This amazing string of albums he released showcases all the amazing facets Phideaux has a hand in when creating some amazing contemporary prog rock music. I am actually quite surprised, though, that in his catalog of big epics such as Doomsday Afternoon and Number Seven that Snowtorch, this little 44 minute romp ended up being my favorite, more specifically my favorite album of 2011 (as I am writing this).

I like to think every Phideaux album is an experiment to try and refine his craft. Here, in Snowtorch, this experiment was to create something similar to, say, Thick As A Brick by Jethro Tull, or Night by Gazpacho, being practically this one song, but due elements like vinyl or accessibility had to be cut down into smaller chunks, for portion sizes. Do not let this discourage you, because as I found out this album is this tightly knit package that delivers on so much. For starters, the two big epics of Snowtorch part 1 and 2 just deliver this immensely satisfying experience from beginning to end. The work put into these songs are not only spectacular, but I feel like as epics they get the job nicely done. How Phideaux and his crew formed this and pinpointed a certain mood of loneliness, but also expansion and exploration is quite a marvel in itself. I think the strongest part of these two songs is keyboard work, which feel quite similar to the workings of Keith Emerson, but instead of just copying his style, Phideaux managed to give off his own flair to it, only merely giving a nod and wink to the legendary keyboardist. Really, I feel like not making these two songs into big epics would hurt the album immensely, but since they are I feel like it all works out in the end.

The two smaller tracks of Helix and the hidden track on side two are also really superb. They aren't as big and grand as the two part epic, but they serve very nicely as side-closures that showcase Phideaux's expertise in packing stuff in a small package, with the hidden track being one of my personal guilty pleasures in Phideaux's discography. I think what really makes these special in my opinion is how they fit nicely within those two big epics, but Phideaux made them separate entities in the bigger picture, which I think worked out nicely. Again, this is not a big and grand album like Doomsday Afternoon, or Number Seven, rather it is a nicely packed little romp through two big epics and two bite sized workings that play with one another. I think that makes this album very special in my mind.

I also have to point out the lyrics, since I feel like it is Phideaux's best aspect in this record. How he ties in the formation of the Earth with a very powerful breakup story is so interesting, and very unique that I feel like it doesn't get enough credit. I have a few theories to what Snowtorch ultimately is, and one of them is it is a ballad between life and death, and they are trying their best distancing away from each other, but yet can never separate, like how, for example, the Earth's plates seem to separate, but inevitably they come back together in a supercontinent. The Earth is merely a tool for this type of ballad, and how Phideaux manages to successfully craft this unique experience is really telling how brilliant of a musician and songwriter he is.

Truly a beautiful and unique experience in terms of progressive rock musicality. I think this is an essential listen, not only for the beautiful musical workings found here, but also for the novel lyricism Phideaux manages to spread on this record that combines science with heartache. Absolutely go listen to this record, as it is a phenomenal experience front to back, to front again.

 313 by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.54 | 182 ratings

BUY
313
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by Henroriro_XIV

5 stars The backstory of this album is interesting. This is the fifth album by the band lead by the American composer Phideaux Xavier (who also happens to be a TV director), in which all of the band members are people he grew up with. The album was a project to make an entire album in a single day. On March 13 in 2004 - the date from which the album got its name - 13 songs were composed and recorded. They were however shelved until 2005, when the songs were more polished, and the album was released on March 13 in 2006, exactly two years after the recordings. As an additional piece of trivia, the album artwork was made by one of Phideaux's childhood friends.

While the true masterpiece of Phideaux is undoubtedly "Doomsday Afternoon", closely followed by "Number Seven" and "Snowtorch", this album is my personal favorite from him. There is a distinction one should make between "the best" and "favorite", that being the personal connection you have to something. Obviously, all the songs on "313" were composed and recorded in one single day, not leaving much room for the same kind of complex song structures and deep lyrical themes as found on "Doomsday Afternoon" and "Number Seven". In exchange however, the album has so much personality and raw emotion found on few other albums. It explores lyrical themes that nobody else would think of. I think looking at some of the album titles proves my point - "Have You Hugged Your Robot?", "A Storm Of Cats" and "Run Singing Tiger" perfectly show the sweet quirkiness of the album.

The album does not fall short on musical value either. Phideaux has developed their own characteristic sound, which Phideaux Xavier describes as "psychedelic progressive gothic rock". It is very symphonic, making use of lots of piano and synths, and gets pretty dark and sensitive in some places. He sings using pretty much his normal voice like Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits, but he still manages to sound emotional. Phideaux makes heavy use of female vocals, something I think prog needs more of in general. What impresses me the most is that I would never assume that the entire album was composed in one single day. It does not sound improvised in the slightest.

Now for the songs themselves. 13 is a pretty high amount of songs for a 48-minute prog album, but I will review all of them, although I will keep it brief for the most part.

"Railyard" (3:32) is a heavy, dark yet beautiful opener carried by the piano and the captivating lyrics. The occasional synth sounds creates a mystical setting, and the female vocals are beautifully executed. A sample from the lyrics that particularly fills me with emotion is "There's a train at the end of the railyard, it is standing abandoned alone; the vines and graffiti are growing, the words have found their home".

"Have You Hugged Your Robot" (3:08) is a really playful, more energetic tune. It is shown by lyrics like "Robot, answer my call; Nobody knows what it's like in the virtual", as well as the conveniently added robot voice and beeping, like an early sci-fi film from the early 1900s. I love how they use a slightly altered melody of "The Hall Of The Mountain King" in the intro.

"A Storm Of Cats" (2:34) has a similar approach as the opener but is less heavy and has a more warm, cozy mood. The lyrics begin soft and playful, but take a violent turn in the end with "When all my cats were gathered together, and we did go to the potting shed; A violence so awful I cannot remember, The stems and the petals, 'A twisted and dead". The lyrics seem to be about a character living on a farm learning about their own mortality by communicating with their cats.

"Never Gonna Go" (3:43) is the one song that introduced me to Phideaux and remains one of my favorites from him to this day. This song is probably the darkest on the album, both lyrically and musically. It begins with an expressive guitar tune that is reminiscent of the characteristic saxophone melody from "21st Century Schizoid Man" and its lyrics seem to be about some kind of spirit trapped in a cathedral and being exploited by the priests: "I can't be the one to free them, I am a puppet of the priests; There's no escape, they trapped me like some domesticated beast". Seriously, I could write an entire essay about the different lyrical themes on this album. Simply an excellent song.

"Pyramid" (4:13) might be the proggiest tune on the album, switching between time signatures including odd ones. The song is founded upon a dark, spacey soundscape created by synth effects, piano and a reverberating guitar, as well as distorted vocals in the verses. This is another song where the female vocals play a big role. While the music itself is pretty dark, the lyrics are actually really hopeful. It seems to be about a relationship between two soulmates, demonstrated by the opening lyrics "I always thought that it was true, I always thought that you had been there too among the million bits of sand; everyday I come for you, I'll be there in your dreams and you'll be there with me too". One of the best songs on the album in my opinion.

"There's Only One Of You" (2:37) is a pretty short tune. The song is once again built around the piano and is further characterized by melodic drumming on the cymbals and soothing female vocals. The lyrics seem to be a continuation of the theme of the previous song, this time being about loneliness. Since the lyrics are pretty short, I can really not be sure, but I think it is about a heart-wrenching breakup.

"Orangutan" (2:57) is one of the few songs that has made me cry out of sadness for real. Its message is very obvious - it is about the orangutan facing extinction and getting its home devastated. The personal way it is delivered, like "They say that you will be extinct by 2085, because the place that is your space will no longer be wild" just brings a tear to my eye every time I listen to it, not to mention the closing lyric "They say that you and I will walk together miles forever; They say that you and I we share a vine that can't be severed".

"Sick Of Me" (5:41) is my favorite track on the entire album. It delivers the emotion like no other songs on the album, both in the lyrics and the music. Probably one of the more proggier tracks on the album, it features a more dynamic range of instruments and a big change in tempo about two thirds through. It even sees a comeback of the robot voice at the end of the song. The lyrics seem to be about a desperate, insecure form of love: "You think I'm so wonderful, it won't be long; I don't belong in your company". Just begin listening to this song and you will probably be motivated to listen to the entire album.

"In Search Of Bitter Ore" (4:03) is a bit of a creepy tune with muffled drums that sound like they are being played in another room and cryptic lyrics that are hard to decipher: "Saints forgive me, I have chosen to wander with the wind; beside the ragged nasturtiums, I have fasted but for them". If I have to guess, it is about some religious pilgrimage, but the song is very sparse in lyrics, so I can only assume. This song is probably the closest to what you would call a filler track of all the songs on the album, which does not mean in any way that it is a bad song.

"Body To Space" (5:33) is, as the name implies, a spacey song. The title is taken from the finishing lyrics from the opening track: "Gravity take me and pull me away, my body to space". It mostly features mellow synth soundscapes and elements from other songs on the album. Almost entirely instrumental, the only lyrics are a continuation of "A Storm Of Cats": "I was there, your dear cat faithful, up the tree by the potting shed; Aye, but I was so very careful, nobody knew I saw what they did".

"Watching Machine" (2:27) takes a very wild turn. This is the most energetic tune on the album where the crunchy bass in particular shines. The song is seasoned with creepy synth sounds and a weird rhythmic scratching sound (?) in the background. As the very aptly named title suggests, the song seems to be about a dystopian surveillance state: "Now the walls have eyes, isn't that great? Once there was a choice, but now it's too late". The chaotic music itself captures the paranoia as you walk down the street constantly being watched.

"Run Singing Tiger" (3:37) demonstrates the "anything goes" feeling of the album really well. It has no meaning or depth other than a running, singing tiger, and I cannot spot any analogies either: "Run singing tiger like you've never run before; Run if you want to, right across the floor". The song itself slaps pretty hard though, built around a delightful wurlitzer piano and featuring some good guitar solos. My favorite part of the song and one of my favorite moments on the entire album is how they use the lyrics from Jefferson Airplane's "Good Shepherd" - "One for Paul, one for Silas, one for Julie" - but replace all the "one"s with "run".

"Benediction" (4:05) perfectly finishes the album off with an atmospheric, meditative track only using an acoustic piano, cymbals and what I assume is a digging sound in the background. One of my favorite lyrics on the album appears on this song: "We cheat the death that night will bring by everyday awakening". They even repeat the sacred hindu syllable "Aum" in harmony throughout the song.

This was a very long review, but probably my most favorite of all the reviews I have ever done. Being the very first neo-prog album that I got into (even if it is on the more accessible side of the spectrum), and the album being one of my favorites of all time when it comes to the lyrics, my personal connections to this album are obviously very strong. Despite my bias, I can say that I recommend it for anybody looking for a fun, emotional music journey that does not fail to satisfy your ear for song quality either. I especially recommend it for people who are looking for female vocals in prog, because I know there is a high demand and low supply for that.

9,5/10 for me.

 Doomsday Afternoon by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.22 | 1073 ratings

BUY
Doomsday Afternoon
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by BlazingProg

5 stars Wow, this is amazing. Phideaux has many incredible albums. But this is probably one of the best albums ever made. So unique. The album does not contain 1 weak song. Every song on the album is perfect. Phideaux and the band play incredible here as well. My favorite songs are Micro Softdeathstar, Candybrain, Formaldehyde & Microdeath Softstar. But every song is perfect. The melodies on this album are also extremely memorable. The artwork for this album is also great. The vocals by Phideaux and the female vocalists are spectacular and fit the music well.I would recommend everyone who likes progressive rock this masterpiece.
 Lysogenic Burnt Offerings by PHIDEAUX album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2020
3.96 | 8 ratings

BUY
Lysogenic Burnt Offerings
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Released in April 2020, this is the first in what is planned to be a series of archival recordings from Phideaux. What we have here are demoes, different versions of songs, rough mixes, and work in progress, so in some ways is designed very much for the fan. I would be interested in knowing something about where each song comes from and the context behind it, but that is a minor quibble. I did immediately recognise the title of one song, "Have You Hugged Your Robot Today", here in a basic track version, which originally appeared on 2006's '313'. Given the nature of the recordings and the music, there is a great deal of variety, which gives an interesting introduction to someone coming across Phideaux for the first time. Interestingly, while some songs are credited to Phideaux, others are credited to just Phideaux Xavier, while others find him credited with others. It is one of these, "When The Day Breaks You Down (Mix 1)" which is credited to Phideaux Xavier with Tombstones In Their Eyes, which is probably the standout track on the album. Delicate vocals build over the top of a piano and drone as the song becomes a distorted metallic progressive monster. It is powerful, dramatic, with many different phases and I am at a loss as to why this is the first time it has appeared on an album.

Some tracks are more Floydian than others, with the live version of "Thank You For the Evil" leading the pack, where Phideaux is joined by female singers and the guitars combine with very fluid keyboards. Overall, this album should not be considered as yet another artist trawling through the archive and bringing out different versions and unreleased songs to milk the punters for even more. Firstly, as with all his catalogue this is a "name your price" release, and secondly this contains some really nice songs. It means that this is an album which even a newcomer to Phideaux can pick up and happily enjoy ? they do not need to already know the rest of the catalogue. I truly hope that more people will take the opportunity to discover the wonderful material of Phideaux Xavier.

 We Only Have Eyes for You by PHIDEAUX album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2018
3.84 | 32 ratings

BUY
We Only Have Eyes for You
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars It was only when checking through Phideaux's digital catalogue that I came across this EP, which was released in 2018. This is a 23-minute-long set which was designed to introduce people to the (then) forthcoming album 'Infernal'. Of the seven songs, five appear on that release, but here they are featured in different versions (including a live version of "Sourdome") while just "Protect The Order" and "Through The Clouds again" are not taken from that release. 'Infernal' was of course the end of a trilogy of albums which commenced with 'Great Leap' and 'Doomsday Afternoon', and Phideaux asks fans to consider this to be an appendix to that. Interestingly, there are currently no reviews for this EP on Prog Archives so I am not the only person who missed this altogether when it was released, and given that 'Infernal' is still ranked as #13 best album for the year that is a massive oversight from all of us!

So, what about it? Given that most of the material appears on 'Infernal' (albeit in different versions), and the title song appears twice (once as a "single" version, and once "stripped") it really isn't a surprise that this is very much in a similar vein to that double CD. Unlike his earlier material, here he brought in three different female lead singers, who also provided plenty of support, plus some wonderful cello and violin as he expanded the sound. There are times when it is simplistic, others way more complex, and it is the wonderful arrangements which grab the listener and refuse to let them go. Floydian at times, this is gentle and embracing music which brings in the listener and comforts them. When the guitars are fuzzed and distorted. they are the perfect accompaniment to the layered vocals, creating a harsher backdrop which is calmed by the smooth harmonies.

This release appears to have bypassed many fans of Phideaux, and they should take all steps to resolve that issue.

 Ghost Story by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.63 | 204 ratings

BUY
Ghost Story
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Although back in the day Phideaux Xavier sent me his second, fourth and fifth albums to review, I had never previously come across his third release, 2004's 'Ghost Story'. With him making his complete back catalogue available free as digital downloads I felt I ought to correct that and listen to this album some 16 years on from when it was originally released. One of the things I noticed, even before playing it, is that this is very much a group album instead of the rather larger ensembles which often appears. Here Phideaux (vocals, guitars, bass) is joined by the ever-present Rich Hutchins (acoustic and electric drums, gongs), Mark Sherkus (organ, piano, synths (MiniMoog), guitars), Gabriel Moffat (Fx) and guest Sam Fenster (bass). This is a small line-up indeed yet is the perfect size for a wonderful collection of songs. At times we find Phideaux channelling his inner Lou Reed, while at others it is incredibly psychedelic. Take "Kiteman" for example, it is really only the production that lets one know this is not from 1968 or 1969. In many ways this makes me think of Jeremy Morris, another musician who seems to be at home in whatever genre takes his fancy.

Vocals are very much front and centre, while acoustic guitar is also a mainstay of the songs, and it could almost be Cat Stevens with other instruments kept to the rear, so the emphasis is on the man behind the microphone. Rich is always there, providing the correct emphasis, which may be dramatic drum fills, a hard-hitting snare, or just sitting there doing nothing which at that moment is the proper accompaniment. The electric guitars, often fuzzed and distorted, are the ones which take us into more progressive territory, making us think at times of Pink Floyd and at others of Gong, with the overall result being an album which appeals across the board. Looking at the reviews on PA it is something of a shame to realise that there has not been a Collaborator/Expert review of this album for some 12 years, and given the amount of exposure the more recent releases have been getting I am quite surprised. This may be different in many ways to what he is now more well known for, but this is a delight and one which progheads need to rediscover, especially if they enjoy shorter more psychedelic material as opposed to more drawn out affairs.

 All Is Number by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2020
2.50 | 23 ratings

BUY
All Is Number
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Phideaux has had a few different starts to his career, releasing his debut album in 1992, but not really getting going until 2003 when he released ' Fiendish'. One thing he was also doing back then was giving away his CDs free of charge to anyone who asked for them, and when the Covid crisis hit he made the decision to make his digital back catalogue free. By now he is of course well known within the prog scene, having released a number of incredibly important albums within the genre, so this is an act of real generosity. On top of that he has also been trawling through his archives and making them available as well, and this is what we have with 'All Is Number'. He says 'Here is an ambient project comprised of tapes I made when I was in high school 1980. I've cleaned it up a little and made some modifications to the sound files. Metal machine madness, perfect to scare the neighbours! There are no songs on this record.'

He's not kidding either. With just an electric guitar, a reel to reel tape recorder and some drums (plus he has now cleaned it up with pro tools) he has created something which is hypnotic, ambient, but also with an edge. The tracks vary in length with one as short as ten minutes, but two are more than 20 while the other two are more than 40. Does it stand up against his current albums? No, of course not: these were recorded 40 years ago when he was still at school, long before he learned what he wanted to do with his music and while he was still heavily experimental. But as a piece of archive recording it is incredibly interesting, with more than a hint of krautrock about it. This is not music which is going to appeal to those who want it sat firmly in the mainstream, but for those of us who like to be a little more adventurous and challenge ourselves in our listening habits. With the tracks being so long I did find that when playing on headphones that time seems to stand still as all there is left in the world is the drone, the swirling change, and the images created in my mind.

This may not be the Phideaux we have become used to, but a very different, darker and avant garde version, and it is strange to think he was creating music like this when he was so young, especially given the lack of facilities to undertake home recordings like this back then. Intriguing.

 Infernal by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.01 | 385 ratings

BUY
Infernal
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Back in 2006 Phideaux released the first album in a trilogy, 'Great Leap', and followed it up the next year with 'Doomsday Afternoon'. There have been two studio albums since then, but now, seven years after 'Snowtorch' and 11 years on from part two, the trilogy comes to a close with 'Infernal'. The artwork is also linked to the other two albums, in case the casual listener doesn't realise. I have long been a fan of the project initially put together by Phideaux Xavier and Richard Hutchins (can it really be 15 years since 'Fiendish'?), and many of the players in the band have stayed the course, although I did notice one new interesting name among the current band, namely Matthew Kennedy who of course is also bassist in the mighty Discipline, another of my favourite bands.

This double CD set contains 19 songs, and lasts just under 90 minutes with only one lengthy number, the 14 minute long "From Hydrogen With Love". This is all about music and songs as opposed to exercises in self-indulgence. With three different female lead singers also playing their part, as well as plenty of backing singers, it means that Phideaux has plenty of support and although he is an excellent singer in his own right, he passes much of the work over to others. Reminiscent at times of the gentler side of Pink Floyd, this is an album which lures in the listener and refuses to let them leave. Although in many ways the music is quite simplistic, there are plenty of instances when there is a complex nuance which adds finesse to what is already compelling music. Although the arrangements are often multi-layered, there are plenty of times when it all falls away to leave singers with just a piano or guitar for accompaniment. The piano is an incredibly important part of the structure, often underpinning what is taking place, while guitarist Gabriel Moffat knows exactly when to be restrained or when to come to the fore and provide some much-needed aggression.

The music is often at the gentler end of the spectrum, with arrangements and production that allow the music to feel like a soft blanket keeping the listener warm, but it is never too sweet or one-dimensional. It is an album that I can play repeatedly without getting tired of it, and that isn't often the case. There are times when it bounces along, others where it is more reflective, but always a delight. Yet another incredibly strong addition to his canon, let's hope it isn't so long for the next one.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.