Wim S. : We already knew that the release earlier this year, the cover album 'Horrific Honorifics', was the prelude to a new album to be released later in the year . Well, here is that new album 'Great Escape'. Read my reviews of previous work by Crippled Black Phoenix once again if you want to know more about this band; here I will limit myself to the music of 'Great Escape'. And that music is really worth listening to.
After some ominous sound recordings (the intro 'You Brought It Upon Yourselves') the band immediately relays on the long, lingering, melancholic 'To You I Give', a track that already has been available for some time. The guitars of Justin Greaves, Daniel Änghede and Jonas Stålhammar sound exceptionally fine, especially when all hell breaks loose in the second part of that track. After a short instrumental, 'Madman' is a song that sounds a bit like a mixture between 80's new wave and Floydian sci-fi rock. Unfortunately there is not a lot going on in that song which makes my attention somewhat disappear. Fortunately, the following 'Times, They Are 'A Raging’(cool title) is of a completely different order: wonderfully epic with fine drum parts by Ben Wilsker and beautiful, complementary sound collages. It is a kind of Porcupine Tree meets Brian Eno, and that does not seem to be a wrong reference. After a particularly loud middle piece, the last two minutes the song ripples through like a medieval folk tune.
That kind of special frills is typical for the music of Crippled Black Phoenix. The word epic is also applicable to 'Rain Black, Reign Heavy' in which we hear the velvet vocals of Belinda Koric and in which the guitars continue to play with great patience. That patience disappears in the instrumental 'Slow Motion Breakdown' in which the guitars are very heavy. They also do this in 'Las Diabolicas' (which could serve as a soundtrack for a Tarantino film). The album ends with the two-part 'Great Escape'. A Gregorian choir opens part 1 and guitars create an atmosphere that reminds me of the best work of Fields Of The Nephilim, after which Roger Waters-like vocals take over. The second part is just a copy of Pink Floyd. And we do not mind that, especially because the band has never made a secret that Floyd is their biggest source of inspiration. Perhaps the best album of Crippled Black Phoenix in years.