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Crippled Black Phoenix - A Love of Shared Disasters CD (album) cover


Crippled Black Phoenix

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars Crippled Black Phoenix's debut had everything to be a tremendous effort... however, it is has such clear flaws that it becomes really hard to fully appreciate a full listen to this album.

My major complaint about this album is "Long Cold Summer", which is a 10:35 long ambient piece, and if I can take "The Whistler", which is also an ambient piece running at 9:45, when I get to "Long Cold Summer" I just find it boring and uninspired, and it's really too long, which leads to another problem I have with this, the total length of the album. This one lasts almost 1h17 when there are moment where it could've been shortened and still have kept its feeling and brilliance, but that's not really up to me, now the music:

Second track, and the first proper one, "Really, How'd It Get this Way?" is fantastic, on the first listening I was totally amazed by the easy subtlety and cool of this song, the lyrics are barely perceptible but the vocals create perfect harmonies with the instrumental section. After the ambient one "The Whistler" come again two more straight-forward tracks, "Suppose I Told The Truth" and "When You're Gone" are very different but carry the same feeling and are definitely great tracks. After that comes "Long Cold Summer", which I already talked about.

"Goodnight, Europe" and "You Take The Devil Out Of Me" are again two very straight-forward rock songs, and they do rock! Two more great songs... Next we have two tracks a bit more experimental, Godspeed influenced "The Northern Cobbler", with a old man's monologue with music progressively growing into the song, and the weird, and not very satisfying "My Enemies I Fear Not, But Protect Me From My Friends", this ones are not favorites of mine. Au contraire, the last two are simply amazing! "I'm Almost Home" is my personal favorite, a very melancholic and placid song, a gentle instrumental full of memories; and the extraordinary closer "Sharks & Storms / Blizzard Of Horned Cats", filled with great melodies and very memorable passages, again, one of my favorites.

So, in conclusion, if this had been cut into an hour long or so, it could be a real gratifying experience, but its over length makes this sometimes hard to listen and tiring and some points.

Report this review (#260342)
Posted Monday, January 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
Chris H
2 stars This debut album from Crippled Black Phoenix runs into the same problem that many other debut albums do, it is released at a point when the band is still trying to find their sound. After countless listens, this album still has me wondering to myself "What is trying to be accomplished here?" There are some straightforward rockers, there is a good 20 minute stretch of ambient noodling, and there are some vocals, chants and rollicking choruses.

Actually, looking past all of the mismatched sounds, this album is technically well done. Its saving grace, really. If you are a fan of all the different styles presented, you may find yourself taking a lot more enjoyment from this than I did. There is no denying the individual talent of each musician, and once they can all come together and agree on a direction the releases to come have the potential to dazzle. The track "Long Cold Summer", however, just has no business being on the album. The reason that it is so hard to make a fantastic album over an hour long is because there is always the possibility of wasted space, and that is all this track is. The worst part is that it is situated in the middle of the record and it really does suck the life out of the listener and make them not want to carry on with the ending.

Technically masterful, but essentially a poor debut from Crippled Black Phoenix with no direction and too much grey area. Look to the future for their brighter moments.

Report this review (#352495)
Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | Review Permalink

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