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Crippled Black Phoenix - I, Vigilante CD (album) cover


Crippled Black Phoenix


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.64 | 107 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars The hardest part of any band's career is to simply stay original, to stay away from the generic and the overdone, and to stand out as an entity worthy of any listener. However, in a world where music encapsulates our society, to stray away from the typical is no easy feat. Crippled Black Phoenix's newest release, entitled 'I, Vigilante' is a bloody brilliant piece; it's soothing, with it's soft piano melodies and harmonic brass overtones, yet harsh and brittle, with raging distorted guitars and haunting vocal crescendos. It's fantastic in almost every regard - except it's not entirely original.

This Scottish supergroup is no newcomer to the post-rock genre. Having members from many important acts of the 90s, such as Mogwai and Electric Wizard, one would expect quality from anything CBP puts out. While it still has all the conventions of your typical post- rock piece - introductory monologues, long guitar passages, and droning vocals - it takes inspiration from far too many other artists to stand out on it's own. From the very get-go, opener Troublemaker comes across as a worthy Pink Floyd tribute rather than an original musical escapade. While the instrumentation is solid without, again it falls flat with the nature of its execution. It was Gilmour I heard in the guitar, not CPB, and that's what bothered me ever so slightly.

Thankfully, as the album progresses, it matures, becoming far more flavourful and enjoyable. We Forgotten Who We Are is the album's strongest point, with a hauntingly sinister tone and an almost ethereal sound, a progressive masterpiece. It is on this track that we see CPB expand into their own territory. Rather than building upon the foundation of other bands, the band begins to draw out what *they* would like to sound like over the ten minutes rather than *who* they'd like to sound like. Fantastic Justice is a great piano-driven song, with Joe Volk putting forth his very best vocal performance, eluding the listener for another quaint eight minutes.

The last three tracks of the album are difficult to rate; while it is certain that Bastonge Blues, a harrowing, war-torn ballad, is pure bliss, Of A Lifetime and Bastonge Blues are lackluster at best. While I personally enjoyed the two cover tracks, many listeners will shy away at the prospect of a minimalist, modern Journey cover followed by a TV theme song cover. Not the wisest combination, but alas a talented attempt.

'I, Vigilante' is still my favourite post-rock/progressive album of the past two years. The dark, foreboding theme is enough to keep me coming back in the dark of the night when I have nothing better to do but pass the early hours with some thought-provoking music. A must- have, even despite the lackluster Journey cover.

_glasgow_ | 4/5 |


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