CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX – ‘Great Escape’ (2018)

30 September 2018
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX – ‘Great Escape’ (2018)
  • Лейбъл: Seasons Of Mist
  • Издаден: 2018
  • Aвтор: Никола Шахпазов
  • Оценка:
It comes as a bit of a surprise – this peculiar release has divided fan opinion right in the middle. Upon first hearing it, lots of CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX loyals have cried out their discontent – “Justin has gone completely bonkers!”, while others have labeled ‘Great Escape’band’s finest since ‘I, Vigilante”.
 
It’s easy to understand why. ‘Great Escape’ is an ambitious and concept heavy beast that is bound to be either loved or hated. and that’s just the right way to know the band leader Justin Greaves and his CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have achieved what they strived for – their 11th release is not just a run-of-the-mill album. On the contrary – it’s an engaging listen, one of truly extraterrestrial atmosphere, instrumental brilliance and angelic vocal harmonies.
 
Spacy, layered, very (and we mean VERY) prog rock, a monolithic and conceptual affair but never a dull or plodding one. This could very well be their ‘Animals’ if we dare go that far in our praises. And praises are well deserved – this is indeed their finest since ‘I, Vigilante’, maybe even their best since ‘200 Tons of Bad Luck’.
 
Of course we never take PINK FLOYD’s name in vain but it is now, more than ever, that CBP sound like fellow British prog astronauts (just take a listen to the second part of the grand ‘Great Escape’ track) – they are capable and willing to fly pretty much anywhere their imagination and artistry could take them.
 
Doesn’t matter what side you’re on / We all bleed the same, you know,” sings Daniel Änghede in ‘Times, They Are A Raging’ – one of the album’s outstanding tracks. And the concept gets even clearer when paying close attention to the lyrics as a whole – CBP still take a stern anti-militaristic and anti-establishment stance, urging you to do the very same and oppose the “society that is insane and unsure of itself”.
 
In a way, it would be absurd to even begin to describe the monstrous dynamics of the epic ‘Great Escape’ (a 20-minute song, no less!), the splendid ‘Slow Motion Breakdown’ or the aforementioned ‘Times, They Are A Raging’ but one thing’s clear – this is a top notch prog rock album, rich on sound and fresh ideas, though highly influenced by the guitar style and songwriting approach of both Gilmour and to a lesser extent – Waters. Of course, it might not be the most immediate album – so give it a few spins, give it time and you would be greatly rewarded.
 
What’s even better is that in no time we would be able to answer the question burning in all our minds – “How would these grand, staggeringly ambitious tracks sound live?”. We’ll just experience them together – this October 11th at Sofia's *Mixtape 5* club. See you there.