Crippled Black Phoenix - Bronze
Season Of Mist
Dark Rock
10 songs ()
Release year: 2016
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

I just got a note in my email that UK Crippled Black Phoenix are about to release another new album titled Great Escape. Truth be told, I have been riding with 2016 Bronze trying to figure out what the big deal/fuss is all about with this multimember prog, atmospheric dark rock collective led by Justin Greaves. So even though I am 2 years late in expressing this opinion, I thought it is still OK to present this review.

Normally anything dark and atmospheric I am completely game, yet the first 2-3 tracks of Bronze failed to inspire me multiple times to give the full album a serious listen. They are just simply not engrossing enough. On Dead Imperial Bastard nothing is happening, period, and your mind needs to fill in the blanks by itself. Deviant Burials shows that classic Depeche Mode aloofness, while No Fun is more disturbing and alarmist, but neither track gets the gloom quite right. Thus I could not get engaged, much less call anything mind blowing on Bronze, until bluesy and earnest Rotten Memories came along. The rising tide of Rotten Memories is a little too short, but it spills over into Champions of Disturbance (Pt 1 & 2), another quality track, opening with Primordial style interesting percussion and alarms levels reaching piercing by 4th min. The doom rock that follows (must be Pt 2) is muscly and engaging, with piano touches, some interesting androgynous vocals and electronic distortion keeping up with the chug.

After that Bronze reverts into being lukewarm and inconsistent. Another bluesy with a hint of darkness track Turn to Stone neighbors underwater muffled psychedelia in Goodbye Then, pregnant with anticipation yet lacking in ultimate goods delivery Scared and Alone (with female vocals not making enough of a difference), meandering Winning a Losing Battle and gothic leaning We Are the Darkeners, which adds layers as it goes.

In places Bronze had me thinking Tiamat Wildhoney period, but without mystery or charismatic special memorable moments. As I said, Great Escape is out but I’m not sure I want another 2 years of on and off trying to understand Crippled Black Phoenix.

Killing Songs :
Rotten Memories, Champions of Disturbance
Alex quoted 64 / 100
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