Crippled Black Phoenix are one of my favorite bands. They have a very dark Floydian vibe that has always appealed to me. On their latest album “Bronze,” CBP have once again tapped into that but perhaps exude even more dark atmosphere than ever. No CBP is not melancholic like Katatonia but imagine if Katatonia listed to Floyd instead of the Cure or Depeche Mode.
“Bronze” starts off with a 5 minute synth intro called “Dead Imperial Bastard” and while I am not into shorter, throwaway intro instrumentals, this is an actual piece of music that sets the stage for all that follows. From there, “Deviant Burials” has a drive to it that kicks the album firmly into gear. I love the key solo on this track. “No Fun” is anything but that. It’s a great song that also has a solid groove (think Deep Purple).
“Rotten Memories” is a slow, bluesy number which makes for a good change of pace. This segues into the epic “Champions of Disturbance (Part 1 & 2).” This is easily one of my favorite songs on “Bronze” as Part 1 feels like the song is going to spin out of control at any minute. LOVE IT! Part 2 is more of a riff rocker which is CBP at its coolest. It’s a headbanger for sure.
CBP continue their winning streak when it comes to covers with a great rendition of The James Gang’s “Turn to Stone.” It’s on par with their versions of Floyd’s “Echoes” and the old Journey song “Of a Lifetime.” The lone misstep of “Bronze” is “Scared and Alone” which has a different vocalist (Belinda Kordic, I believe) and it just doesn’t work. Her vocals are almost cartoonish which with a song as solemn and bare, takes away from the overall mood. I’d rather have Daniel Änghede sing every song to give it continuity.
Regardless of the one track, “Bronze” is another triumph for Crippled Black Phoenix. Justin Greaves and CBP have done it again. Hopefully “Bronze” will get CBP the attention they have so greatly deserved over the years.
1. Dead Imperial Bastard
2. Deviant Burials
3. No Fun
4. Rotten Memories
5. Champions Of Disturbance (Pt 1 & 2)
6. Goodbye Then
7. Turn To Stone
8. Scared And Alone
9. Winning A Losing Battle
10. We Are The Darkeners
Label: Season of Mist