PHIDEAUX - Chupacabras

Phideaux - Chupacabras

8 songs
48:32 minutes
***** ****

Although Phideaux released already two (comeback) albums in 2003 and 2004, he was again ready only one year later with the odds-and-ends collection Chupacabras. The album starts with the short instrumental opener Okay, heavy on organ and mellotron, before the 21 minute long title track is delivering the album's highlight and centrepiece. This seven-part epic starts with a segment called Supper's Calling, making it clear for any decent prog rock fan who is being paid tribute to. Originally composed as a 14 minute piece for the band's Fiendish (2003) album, the band decided back then that it didn't fit that album's more song-oriented mood, thus making it even longer for this release. Of course it sounds at times patched together, but don't most long prog epics? The different moods and many guest musicians take care that you won't be bored. The next track is Party, a remnant from 1990, totally rearranged and rerecorded, and showing Phideaux from an unusually poppy side, like a mellower Placebo and not unfit for general radio consumption. Fortress Of Sand is a musical collage, consisting of bits from other Phideaux tracks, a moody piece in between regular songs but not really their strongest moment. The ten-minute Ruffian song trilogy gets Phideaux in their darkest mood and angriest moments, with the last part even having him utter the nasty F-word. The album ends with the soft Titan, a song that was originally written for a band called Satyricon (and no, not the Norwegian black metal band) which Phideaux and band members were part of in earlier times.

Unlike Marillion who made people buy their B-sides collection in the late Eighties so that their fans could get their hands on a digitalised version of Grendel, Chupacabras is much more than just its monumental title track. It lacks the cohesion of their preceding album Ghost Story, but also surprises with more different moods, and if you didn't know, you would never guess that this is a compilation album of sorts. Another indispensable addition to your prog records collection!

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