Crippled Black Phoenix - Great Escape (2018)


Just before the end of the year we received on our review queue on of our favorite albums of 2018: Crippled Black Phoenix’s “Great Escape”. As one of the most melancholic and mellow Rock albums we have heard, this international band unleashes over one hour of truly disarming music. Mixing elements of bands like Anathema, God is an Astronaut and countless others, this is definitely one of the most unique and diverse releases you will hear in 2018.

After opening with the dreamy “You Brought it Upon Yourselves”, the band sinks into the bleakness of “To You I Give”, a Post-Rock-ish tune in nature. Masterminded by Justin Greaves, this band’s releases are always very rich and diverse and extremely hard to categorize, but always top notch in terms of quality. After the interlude “Uncivil War, Pt. 1”, “Madman” features a dark wave vibe with heavy synths and a very martial pace.

The band circles back to full melancholic mode with the beautifully crafted “Times, They Are a’Raging”, Daniel Änghede solemn vocals greatly enhance the atmosphere while the song nicely progresses and reaches its cathartic moment. With a folky/Dead Can Dance edge, “Rain Black, Rain Heavy” features lush female vocals perfectly mixed in with powerful riffs as the song winds down. Focusing just the right amount of time to craft a compelling atmosphere, most songs slowly morph into brilliant free-flowing instrumentations that like on “Slow Motion Breakdown”, there is no need for any vocals.

Not settling for any particular musical style, the dramatic “Nebulas” and the more playful “Las Diabolicas” showcase the band’s wide range of compositional skills while crafting truly unique and diverse atmospheres that keep the album interesting and always compelling. Saving the best for last, the two part album title track delivers lush instrumentation, melancholic guitar leads, and haunting vocal melodies that will make the 20 minutes combined fly over like a few seconds.

As a whole, “Great Escape” is a very interesting album that covers a wide spectrum of genres and influences. Crippled Black Phoenix have once more released an album that can be played over and over for days and you will always discover something new in it. Taking their show on the road, the band will be touring in the beginning of 2019 and will make a stop a Roadburn festival, the perfect place to listen to their truly unique musical vision.

Bands: Crippled Black Phoenix Album: Great Escape

Label: Season of Mist

Release: September 18th, 2018

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Genre: Experimental/Atmospheric Rock/Metal

Country: International

Rating: 95/100

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