Crippled Black Phoenix
(Season Of Mist)
Veteran heavy music outfit Crippled Black Phoenix have been carving out genre-crossing compositions that are aesthetically haunting and melodic in composition since 2004 and will be releasing their sixth album Bronze through French extreme metal imprint, Season Of Mist. For those who are new to this group, the European sextet’s mastermind is multi-instrumentalist Justin Greaves, who cut his teeth in the harsher sides of the musical spectrum as a battery man for Iron Monkey, Electric Wizard and The Varukers amongst many other groups. He uses Crippled Black Phoenix as a vehicle to explore musical arrangements that exhibit heavy, melancholic atmospheres that are played by a seven band crew but sound as if an orchestra is performing. Greaves’s role as both maestro and the dominant instrumentalist throughout the recordings has recruited a solid unit of musicians he entrusts and whose talents are utilized to considerable extent to make another distinguishable record in the Crippled Black Phoenix catalog.
Bronze is a crafted mix of classical, Victorian era sounding arrangements accompanied by a post metal sound but with progressive time signatures included. Tracks like “Deviant Burials”, “Turn To Stone” and “Winning A Losing Battle” showcase the description most accurately as well as the quality of musicianship the players bring forth to the recording. Stand out tracks being the chilling, female fronted “Scared And Alone” in part to its minimal instrument openings, guitar and horn duet along with the crooning vocals of guest singer Belinda Kordic. “Champions Of Disturbance” are broken into two segments with the first being an instrumental with all instruments rolling in synch with each other until the second half kicks off with galloping rhythm and riffs and the soaring vocal style of Daniel Aghende (former front man for Swedish experimental group Hearts Of Black Science). All in all, it is a musician’s record and that is not in any way supposed to be interpreted as a pretentious statement, it is a fact.