Review Elements

  • HEAVINESS: 3/10
  • MELODIC: 9/10

Phideaux - Infernal




So, this is a special double album for me to review. I have been a huge Phideaux fan since 2009 and we have been friends nearly as long. This is a perfect example of why I think its a great idea for reviewers to rate their opinion of the band going into a review, which we do above.

Infernal has also been one of the most difficult albums to review as it is a double album. I also felt like I needed to listen to the first two albums of the trilogy, The Great Leap and Doomsday Afternoon, before listening to Infernal; therefore, this review is the culmination of 12 hours of listening to Phideaux albums.

Not only have I heard this album numerous times now, but I have heard early versions of some of these songs in 2012 when he performed them at a house concert here in Chicago, at Terra Incognita, and at the CRS show in Maltby UK.

If you notice in my ratings above, I put accessibility down as a medium number. This album needs a bunch of listens to really get your ears around – which is completely foreign to me with a Phideaux album. Then add this to the equation – How can Infernal be less accessible with all the call backs to the first two albums of the trilogy, Doomsday Afternoon and The Great Leap? The answer is: I am not sure, but maybe this album is so multifaceted that it takes a while to take it all in.

After 3 listens I finally put together some of those call backs. Certainly, “Inquisitor” hearkens back to, “Thank You for the Evil”. “Crumble” and “Tumbleweed” are intentionally derivative of the first two Crumbles on Doomsday Afternoon and, “From Hydrogen to Love”, the 14 minute climax, has some melodies from, “MicroDeath Softstar”.

Wordplay is back in too. No spoonerisms, but the, “Sourdome” is an anagram of, “Dormouse” and the song is a full reprise of, “Dormouse”. But wait that is not in the trilogy! Ok, well that’s good because I think I have heard more call backs to the underrated Number Seven album as well.

Which lead me to the lyrics. Phideaux, Andy Tillison, and Neil Peart are my three favorite lyricists. They all have more than a decade of thought provoking and entertaining lyrics.

The more time you give this album, the more it gives back to you. So, keep peeling back the onion. Get into the center of this. You will be glad you did.

ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: Request Deathless Here

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If you have never read the key for my ratings below please do so one time. I feel my ratings are tougher than my peers. Also Check my link to see how compatible our music tasts are.

These ratings are just attributes and may not have correlation to the most important: OVERALL RATING

0: Never heard of them or debut album.
2: Someone recommended. I give them another shot.
4: Some good moments in the past but never put together an album I really liked.
6: Some 4 or 5 star songs but albums can be hit or miss for me.
8: I like 80% of their songs and probably went to see them live.
10: I would, and probably have gone on a plane to see them live.

2: Weather Report
4: Zappa
6: Genesis – Selling England by the Pound,
8: Marillion – F.E.A.R
10: Kino – Picture


2: IQ – Seventh House
4: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
10: Opeth – Black Water Park

2: Opeth – Black Water Park
4: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
10: IQ – Seventh House

2: Will Never listen to again and deleted under no circumstances should you buy this
4: Not my thing maybe one redeeming song.
6: I like parts of this and I would check them out if they were near me.
8: I would get in the car and road trip to see this album live
10: I would get on a plane to see this performed live

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