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.