Crip­pled black Phoenix

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff - dave ev­er­ley

The Great Es­cape sea­son of mist

Brit prog-met­allers’ epic mon­u­ment to de­spair.

Crip­pled Black Phoenix aren’t the first band to fol­low the trail of bread­crumbs left by Pink Floyd, but some­where along the path they took a wrong turn­ing and ended up lost in the deep, dark woods.

Their tenth al­bum should be sub­ti­tled The Dark­est Side Of The Moon. In­spired by drum­mer/ driv­ing force Justin Greaves’s strug­gles with de­pres­sion, and weigh­ing in at a monolothic 90 min­utes, it rev­els in its own des­o­la­tion. Times They Are A Rag­ing swings from sparse gloom to dense noise and back again, Mad­man is loaded with claus­tro­pho­bic key­boards, while the ul­tra-Floy­dian, two-part ti­tle track is the sonic equiv­a­lent of a prism of light that’s been bleached of its colour. But there’s a grim beauty be­low the sur­face that saves it from ut­ter bleak­ness, even if you have to dig deep to find it.

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