Crippled Black Phoenix - Great Escape review



Reviewer:
N/A

37 users:
8.35
Band: Crippled Black Phoenix
Album: Great Escape
Release date: September 2018


01. You Brought It Upon Yourselves
02. To You I Give
03. Uncivil War (Pt. I)
04. Madman
05. Times, They Are A Raging
06. Rain Black, Reign Heavy
07. Slow Motion Breakdown
08. Nebulas
09. Las Diabolicas
10. Great Escape (Pt. I)
11. Great Escape (Pt. II)


Crippled Black Phoenix is that strange post-rock band that is kinda post-rock but not really. They love Pink Floyd a lot. Yes, that's a flying horse on the cover.

Because they came around at the same time as most third-wave post-rock did, there was a certain expectation that I had from Crippled Black Phoenix that they would fit more nicely in the whole maybe-instrumental-maybe-not crescendocore thing. But they didn't, and for a long time I didn't really know what to make of it; I knew I enjoyed it, but their sound really didn't stick with me much. If you asked me what they sounded like a few days after I listened to them, I would have little idea. I even saw them live and I couldn't really figure out what the deal was. It felt like they sat in a gray genre area that caused an overflow that completely removed all memorability. So now, re-listening to The Great Escape, I wonder what the fuck was wrong with me.

I may advise you to avoid my pitfalls of expecting the music to be anything, be it post-rock, progressive rock, or whatever. This behemoth of 73 minutes is so hard to pin down that you can easily find two different moments where they really don't sound like the same band. The band's sound is quite scattered, but not really in a wacky, avant-garde way. So I'm going to try to describe it the best I can, using only this album as reference, since I feel like this is the first time I've found them to be that engaging. Probably the most important instrument for Crippled Black Phoenix is the synthesizer, hence why keyboards play such a big role on the album, especially since they have two keyboard players. Though they also have three guitarists. And at least two vocalists. You get the point. Keyboards may not play as big a role as guitars as a whole, but they do when compared to most prog/post bands, who usually just use that '70s-ish Moog and Mellotrons.

The amalgamation of post-rock sensibilities (sounding a lot like a more structured Mogwai), bits of hard rock ethos (like on "Slow Motion Breakdown"), just enough metal-ish moments for it to not be too awkward on this website (like the mid section of "The Riffs They Are A'ragin"), synths galore (sometimes going as far as synthwave-sounding on "Madman"), a huge dose of Pink Floyd influence (you could've fooled me that "The Great Escape, Pt. 2" was some unreleased The Division Bell track), and some well-placed samples ("You Brought it Upon Yourselves" sets the theme for the rest of the album) both make The Great Escape interesting to listen to and make the 73 minutes feel less like a long album and more like a long playlist, not in the sense that the flow is broken, but that it feels less monotonous. And yes, this time it's definitely memorable; I've had the melancholically triumphant (that will make sense when you listen to it) chorus of "To You I Give" stuck in my head for a while.

Even after all of this, I'm not sure why Crippled Black Phoenix has such a strange effect on me, even when I was literally in the same room with them watching them perform. And now it feels like a certain flag in my brain has been set and relistening to some of their older stuff is even better than I remember it. Maybe it was just the venue that sucked. Yeah, probably that. The Great Escape is such an engaging listen, but maybe Crippled Black Phoenix should tone the Pink Floyd worship down a bit. See for yourself.


 



Written on 25.11.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 114 users
25.11.2018 - 22:31
katatonia75
Masterpiece 🎩👏👏👏
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26.11.2018 - 10:44
matt4815162342
Actually, that's a unicorn. But apart from this one significant detail, the review is great and I agree with it a lot.
It's really funny, that even though the album is really long, it doesn't feel that way and I sometimes catch myself somewhere in the middle of Great Escapes and wonder how the hell did that pass that quickly.
Favorite track: Times, They Are a'Raging
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26.11.2018 - 14:44
Ball Fondlers
Written by matt4815162342 on 26.11.2018 at 10:44

Actually, that's a unicorn. But apart from this one significant detail, the review is great and I agree with it a lot.
It's really funny, that even though the album is really long, it doesn't feel that way and I sometimes catch myself somewhere in the middle of Great Escapes and wonder how the hell did that pass that quickly.
Favorite track: Times, They Are a'Raging

Actually, it's a horse
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26.11.2018 - 17:55
matt4815162342
Written by Ball Fondlers on 26.11.2018 at 14:44

Written by matt4815162342 on 26.11.2018 at 10:44

Actually, that's a unicorn. But apart from this one significant detail, the review is great and I agree with it a lot.
It's really funny, that even though the album is really long, it doesn't feel that way and I sometimes catch myself somewhere in the middle of Great Escapes and wonder how the hell did that pass that quickly.
Favorite track: Times, They Are a'Raging

Actually, it's a horse

On the second thought, the thing that looks to me like a horn, could also be an ear making an impression of a horn due to a specific angle of the head. So yeah, I don't deny it could also be normal boring horse. Which would spoil magic of the cover a bit, but I still dig it, it's a great piece of art.
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26.11.2018 - 22:44
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by matt4815162342 on 26.11.2018 at 17:55

On the second thought, the thing that looks to me like a horn, could also be an ear making an impression of a horn due to a specific angle of the head. So yeah, I don't deny it could also be normal boring horse. Which would spoil magic of the cover a bit, but I still dig it, it's a great piece of art.

The worst thing about it is that it looks like it's taking a shit midair
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Okay, this is epic!
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26.11.2018 - 23:25
matt4815162342
Written by RaduP on 26.11.2018 at 22:44

Written by matt4815162342 on 26.11.2018 at 17:55

On the second thought, the thing that looks to me like a horn, could also be an ear making an impression of a horn due to a specific angle of the head. So yeah, I don't deny it could also be normal boring horse. Which would spoil magic of the cover a bit, but I still dig it, it's a great piece of art.

The worst thing about it is that it looks like it's taking a shit midair

The magic is gone altogether. Thank you!
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27.11.2018 - 02:39
MetalManic
Written by matt4815162342 on 26.11.2018 at 10:44

Actually, that's a unicorn.


Romanians do no recognize unicorns
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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27.11.2018 - 08:36
Ball Fondlers
Here's your unicorn
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01.12.2018 - 00:55
MetalManic
I dig. I see the Pink Floyd vibes and to me it's not over the top. It would be worth reserving that sound for future releases
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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