Phi: Now The Waves Of Sound Remain

The sound of Austrian post-progressive rock.

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There’s always something intriguing about acts who invent their own musical subgenre, and with Phi declaring that they’re a “post-progressive rock band”, that makes them either geniuses or foolhardy.

Yet it appears that they at least have a point, and this, their third album, continues to create a distinctly original sound that fuses a vast variety of sounds. There are influences as wide-ranging as Tool, Porcupine Tree and Rush at play here, all enhanced by their own original approach. Buy Your Piece Of Love is a foreboding opener, with impeccable, interweaving melodies and darkly determined vocals producing a unique song. Critically, it’s more than apparent that the band are all accomplished musicians, but evade the ever-present pitfall of overplaying. The album’s title track is its centrepiece, a 10-minute excursion that showcases their knack for allowing themes to develop wonderfully, without ever outstaying their welcome. They’re also adept at adding a metal edge into the music, but this is never overpowering. They can get overindulgent (The Liquid Hourglass) but this fails to dent what is an otherwise uncompromising and lovingly executed recording.