Artist/ Band: Phi
Title: For The Love of Ghosts
Label: MALS
Year of Release: 2011
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

Austrian band realigned with new members and style that combines a great mixture of Saga and Porcupine Tree with other classic rock metal influences such as Uriah Heep, UFO, Focus, and Blue Oyster Cult. You may also hear comparable sounds from King Crimson, Tool, Opeth, and Mastedon. On this release the main 3 piece (Markus Bratusa / guitars, vocals, programming, additional keyboards, - Arthur Darnhofer-Demar / bass, backing vocals, - Nick Koch / drums, programming) is helped by guests Christoph W. Pirker / keyboards, organ (1-6), Markus Czwiertnia / violin (4) , and Peter Yearsley and Librivox / spoken words (1 & 6).

I find along with this nice blend of heavy prog and melodic rock, there is a touch of post rock as well. The wall of guitars at times adds to the dimension of Phiís new sound. It all makes for a solid and accessible (even stadium friendly) presentation. The musicians have excellent skill and at times churn out some prog metal up their with the best. They keep your attention with the many changes composed in the 7 songs totaling 49 minutes. What else stood out is the balance of heavy power and delicate parts they created. Quite a nice job of writing.

Although they donít sound at all like Rush, they have the same ability for fuse the demanding quick pace riffs with the melodic arrangements. Much of this could go on radio and I would not rule out a hit. The songs are strong and even though they have several strong influences, I didnít feel that I had heard this band or their songs before. With the first song I was fearing it would just be a heavy rock band, but from the 2nd thru the last, I was enjoying it very much. I canít imagine Porcupine Tree fans not liking this a lot. This is far above average and I certainly like the new version of the band.

Reviewed by Lee Henderson on January 6th, 2012

Tracks:

01. The Surgical Cut, Parts 2-4 (9:51)
02. Departure (4:41)
03. DesIre (12:08)
04. Wintersong (5:23)
05. The Illusion (Death Is Dead) (6:19)
06. The Surgical Cut, Part 1 (9:04)
07. Epilogue: For The Love Of Ghosts (1:46)

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