Phideaux
Doomsday Afternoon


4.0
excellent

Review

by menawati USER (94 Reviews)
October 8th, 2012 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Accessible crossover prog with beautiful melodies, retro influences and impeccable musicianship.

Phideaux Xavier has been quite prolific throughout the last decade, releasing album after album, collaborating with various musicians and exploring a number of different styles from folk to psychedelic to progressive. 'Doomsday Afternoon' was his sixth studio release and was the second part of a trilogy of albums dealing with issues such as the nanny state and ecological crises. When this was released it was about as far down the path towards progressive rock that Phideaux had yet ventured.

First off it is worth mentioning that the music on here isn't particularly demanding. Phideaux's sensibilities veer more towards the accessible end of the prog spectrum. That isn't necessarily a bad thing in this case however as he has a finely developed ear for melody and the development of the appropriate mood and texture with each composition. There are influences on here that range from Pink Floyd to Mike Oldfield and even a smattering of Yes in some of the keyboard arrangements. The aforementioned influences are particularly noticeable on the first two tracks with 'The Doctrine Of Eternal Ice (Part One)' recalling the early days of Pink Floyd with the occasional flurry of orchestral intrusions a la 'Atom Heart Mother'. Phideaux is certainly wearing his influences on his sleeve here. There is some beautiful orchestration on this album. 'A Wasteland of Memories' features an uplifting melody that wouldn't sound out of place in a Josef Haydn symphony and 'Crumble' lulls you with its soothing piano melody and Clannad-esque backing vocals. But the real meat of the music lies in the longer compositions. 'Formaldehyde' is a prog folk number with a beautiful female vocal and some pleasing interplay between guitar, synth and flute. The 14-minute 'Microdeath Softstar' introduces itself with a subdued organ melody before the softly overdriven guitars, synths and orchestra drill out a memorable theme and the psych tinged overtones of the main verse take over backed by the sound of fiddles and the Gibson Junior P-90 tones of a vintage Mike Oldfield on lead guitar. The track may be a pot-pourri of different styles and influences but the sheer inventiveness on offer is compelling. Phideaux's music has sometimes been criticised as 'prog-by-numbers' but when there are such captivating melodies and pleasing arrangements it's easy to be drawn in, forget the influences that are quite noticeable throughout most of the music and just let it flow over you.

As I mentioned earlier there isn't anything particularly challenging about the music on here if you are a prog rock enthusiast. However, if you just want to sit back and enjoy some beautiful prog tinged melodies backed by some wonderfully arranged orchestration there is a lot to love about this album. If you like early Mike Oldfield, Yes or Pink Floyd you could do a lot worse than give this a listen.




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user ratings (73)
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
October 8th 2012


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He has no reviews on here at all so thought id do at least one.



Doctrine of Eternal Ice (part one) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5fWT5sckEE

Formaldehyde - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWg15DUG0m4&feature=related

Wasteland of Memories - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsDwYDuKmUg

Microdeath Softstar - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqB5mRUkC1k&feature=related



Phideaux has a free download compilation at http://phideaux.bandcamp.com/album/phideaux-mogon-promotional-issue

JamieTwort
October 8th 2012


26988 Comments


Props for reviewing this. Really good album.

menawati
October 8th 2012


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx jamie, ye might do a couple of his, Number 7 deserves a review too i think

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2012


25828 Comments


I see you're trying to keep up with me ;D. Great review as always, I really need to start checking out some of these prog bands.

Digging: Paysage d'Hiver - Im Wald

menawati
October 8th 2012


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no chance of keeping up with atari haha, i dont reckon you are really a person you are an old atari 800 that has mutated into a reviewing machine

JS19
March 18th 2013


7656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I still love this. It's been years

Digging: Julianna Barwick - Healing is a Miracle

Jethro42
March 18th 2013


16130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best Phideaux' album, just before Snowtorch. Great review, menaw.

CK
June 6th 2013


6104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is sex

Mad.
September 22nd 2013


4811 Comments


New album this year... yesssssssssssssss

JS19
September 22nd 2013


7656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Was a 5 at one point. hng new

Mad.
September 22nd 2013


4811 Comments


I feel a 4.5 coming on...
A Wasteland for Memories is so beautiful, but the best thing is...

STALK THE SENSES
STALK THE BEAST
STALK THE SENSES
COME THE BEAST

OmairSh
April 21st 2014


16377 Comments


Production production production

Digging: Boards of Canada - Geogaddi

ButteryBiscuitBass
July 10th 2014


11453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Such. A. Good. Album.

Mad.
July 10th 2014


4811 Comments


Damn, haven't listened to this in ages

DivergentThinking
December 14th 2015


6226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Was just listening to this again... brings me back to my teen years when I first heard it. Such an amazing record

JS19
September 8th 2018


7656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

3 year bump

Observer
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2020


8083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

Awesome album

Digging: Big Big Train - English Electric: Full Power

Observer
Staff Reviewer
May 19th 2020


8083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

Actually perfect album, fuck.



All their shit is free on their bandcamp

EvoHavok
May 19th 2020


7820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Always felt that this needed more attention.

Observer
Staff Reviewer
May 19th 2020


8083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

Absolutely! I see no reason why anathema and pure reason revolution fans on this site arent all over this, or much of their other albums.



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