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(66:433, Season of Mist)
If there was ever a band who refused to conform to what anyone expects of them, then it must be Crippled Black Phoenix, who continue to be led by multi-instrumentalist Julian Graves (drummer for Iron Monkey and Electric Wizard among others. They have been described as stoner prog through freak folk to psychedelic doom, and then back to post rock via space rock. Despite the wide range of musical leanings within their albums, there are a unifying dark streak and sombre melancholy running through the songs. Their tenth studio album shows them embracing all these styles, and so much more, with the core trio of Daniel Anghede (vocals, guitar), Justin Greaves (guitars, drums, bass, samples, musical saw, percussion, backing vocals, composer, arranger and co-producer) and Mark Furnevall (synths, Hammond, vocoder, backing vocals) being joined by various guests, of whom special mention should be made of Belinda Kordic whose ethereal vocals certainly add to the emotional and dramatic elements of the band. Early Floyd is the obvious influence, particularly on the likes of “Las Diabolicas”, but the very first time I played this the name which kept popping into my head was Johnny Cash, and while this sounds absolutely nothing like him in any way, for some reason the analogy really works. Since their debut ‘A Love of Shared Disasters’ in 2007, Crippled Black Phoenix have continued to morph and change, and this is yet another exercise in changing perceptions about the band, and is deep mahogany in a world of cheap and throwaway plastic as the depth and emotion contained within are compelling.
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