Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Phideaux — Doomsday Afternoon
(Bloodfish zyz-666, 2007, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01
This is a very different turn from last year’s The Great Leap, but that’s what Phideaux does – a different sound with every new release, but one can always count on excellent compositions, great playing and thoughtful lyrics, regardless of what direction the style and arranging go. After dancing around it for several releases, this time they have fully embraced the classic prog idiom: lengthy multi-part suites, sublime orchestrations (both via seven-piece orchestra with conductor, as well as multi-layered keyboard synths), surprise changes at every turn, heavy duty dynamic shifts, and arranged solos fully integrated into the fabric of the work. Bandleader Phideaux Xavier has assembled a cast of no less than nine players and vocalists to pull this ambitious project together, plus almost as many guest players (including folks who will be known to Exposé readers like Martin Orford and Matthew Parmenter). Several male and female voices are utilized throughout the ten pieces in various combinations, track depending. After a dozen or more plays, Doomsday Afternoon is still revealing itself, and with each repeated play this writer is finding it more engaging. Very impressive indeed! And I would be remiss to not mention the outstanding paintings by Molly Ruttan that grace the booklet cover and every page in the booklet. Superb work all around. The only question that remains is where is Phideaux going to go next time to top this?
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