Crippled Black Phoenix - I, Vigilante

01. Troublemaker
02. We Forgotten Who We Are
03. Fantastic Justice
04. Bostogne Blues
05. Of A Lifetime
06. Burning Bridges [hidden track]

"The wolf changes its fur, but not its nature, sir."

Fan of Mogwai? Or maybe of Electric Wizard? Here, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds; meaning members from both bands are contributors to the project Crippled Black Phoenix.

I, Vigilante kicks off with "Troublemaker" at a cool pace. It's a song ripe for any prog-head including synthesizers, some strings, some dreamy vocals...and a shifty, up-tempo, ass-kicking slide guitar solo. Yep. But wait, prog? How can this be? THERE'S NO SLIDE GUITAR IN PROG.

The sound establishes itself quickly. The rhythm section certainly keeps things interesting, and the riffs are there as well. Not Electric Wizard-esque riffs, but riffs that seem to stagger forward like a determined little-leaguer stepping up to the plate. It certainly doesn't riff with the belligerency that you would expect from the riff-dervish of the stoner world.

And there is a melancholic beauty about this release. There are moving piano sequences, field recordings, and stirring vocals presented by Joe Volk. Volk also penned the haunting lyrical material for I, Vigilante. These exquisite lyrics tell mesmerizing stories. They dive into the psyche, recognizing the realities of inner turmoil; portraying what can be a world of grey skies and closed doors.

The final two songs on the album are covers. One is of Journey's "Of A Lifetime", and the other is from a band, The Mike Curb Congregation. One is "rocky", while the other is "folky". Both songs stand to receive similar praise in conjunction with the rest of the album. This is due to the sonic solidarity of the super-group.

It's not what you may expect from a combination of the aforementioned bands, but it's exactly the kind of surprise that will keep you listening all night and into the dawn, driving to work on no sleep, and wishing you had a canine companion in the car beside you.

Highly recommended to fans of music in general.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


written by Nosurper | 24.04.2012

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


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Dogsbreakfast - 24.04.2012 at 21:20  
Absolutely incredible album. After hearing this I was so hesitant to listen to anything else by Crippled Black Phoenix because it seemed the only direction left was down. Bostogne Blues is an absolutely moving (and surely authentic) account from the WW2 battle of the same name. Burning Bridges caught me completely by surprise but I think it's a perfect note to end the album on. I guess it's another WW2 reference if you take Kelly's Heros into accout!

This is one of those albums you recommend to your friends.
Nosurper - 25.04.2012 at 02:29  
Thanks for the comment!
Unhealer - 25.04.2012 at 02:53  
I checked this one out last week. It didn't lure me as their latest record did, but there are some interesting tunes here as well.

"Highly recommended to fans of music in general." Wise words.
Boxcar Willy - 25.04.2012 at 18:44  
This sounds great!

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