Crippled Black Phoenix – Bronze Review

crippled-black-phoenix-bronzeThere’s diving into the sea of sonic waves frothing within a surge of melancholy and then there’s the new album by Crippled Black Phoenix that surfs those waves in serenity with just enough psychedelic influence to perforate your mind with doom defying beats.

An album to seriously listen to, Bronze is ineffable in the mental imagery that it invokes. Making the most out of heavy metal and sounding like early Sabbath, with a bit of Pink Floyd-esq complexity, the grand ole’ doom riffs on Bronze take on the blues with a spookier and almost otherworldly hue. Conjuring a world of their own design populated by syncopated layers of dreamy pedals and ethereal synths.

Justin Greaves (Ex-Iron Monkey) is not just a guy who hangs around musicians. He’s the multi-instrumentalist/mastermind behind the band and on his ninth full-length as Crippled Black Phoenix. A renowned drummer who has worked with bands like Electric Wizard and Earthtone9, his integral understanding of rhythms is prevalent within the prog-lite shoegaze forms on Bronze.

Good art is facsimile but great art is an expansion of its subject and while Bronze boldly wears its influences on its sleeve it carries its own shade of gloom with style accompanied by trumpets. With its own groove this album marches proudly with mesmeric hooks coming from the gritty guitar tone. Reverberating with technique that’s both heavy and classy.

Using dynamics effortlessly this album builds up a somber atmosphere that’s strangely comforting. The ensemble cast of pianos, trumpets and the ever ready guitar harmonize to create a tingling sensation that stimulates all the right nerves. Where the soft drone of the muted trumpets kill the pain of the sharp attacks coming from the strings.  Striking a chord in places where you don’t expect to find a pulse.

Melodiously dark and at times menacing, Bronze creates mystique within the silence of time, painting the world black for a diabolical masquerade. It’s liberal and emotional narrative is contemptuously driven but offers release in light of real world travesty, and in its artistic depth holds fear and wonder on the same pitch. You might want to hold your breath for this one.

9/10

About David Oberlin 252 Articles
David Oberlin is a composer and visual artist who loves noise more than a tidy writing space. You can often find him in your dankest nightmares or on twitter @DieSkaarj while slugging the largest and blackest coffee his [REDACTED] loyalty card can provide.

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