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Crippled Black Phoenix - Ellengæst

Crippled Black Phoenix
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 19 November 2020, 6:36 AM

It’s hard to explain Progressive Metal subgenres, because it’s a true hard and boring work, as it is for any Metal genre. It demands to know a lot of history and to read a lot of stuff. But in the same genre you’ll find DREAM THEATER, FATES WARNING, QUEENSRYCHE, and even ANATHEMA and KATATONIA are listed as Progressive Metal bands. And one more name can be said as a Progressive Metal act: CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX. But the music heard on “Ellengæst” demands a lot of care to understand it.

They’re into the same Progressive Rock trend similar to ANATHEMA: something calm, melodic and tender. But this CBP has a strong melancholic approach inherited from Post-Punk and Gothic Rock. It’s different from usual, something ethereal, introspective and accessible, but with some experimental touches here and there. It’s good, indeed, but maybe it’s not a better choice for those who prefers something focused on distorted aggressive guitars.

On the sound production, all works in a good way, because the production was done by the hands of Justin Greaves (the band’s leader) along with Karl Daniel Lidén (that mixed and mastered the album as well). The final result is focused to be clean and defined, but with a crude ambience. Then all things can be heard without problem.

The greater part of the songs of “Ellengæst” is extremely long, and can be a boring experience for some. But for the fans of such musical genre, the darkened lysergic ambiences of “House of Fools” and “Lost” (both with some crude instrumental tunes from bass guitar and drums, in a Post-Punk way), the total Gothic Rock approach of “Cry of Love” (where influences from THE FIELDS OF NEPHILIM can be heard, especially on the male vocals), and the contrasts that fill “The Invisible Past” are the best ones for a first time. Oh, there are many invited guests on the album, and Gaahl and Vincent Cavanagh, but you’ll find better descriptions on the album’s booklet.

Strange and weird, but charming and challenging, “Ellengæst” is a very good release, but not to be assimilated by many. And CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX is really a very good name.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. House of Fools
2. Lost
3. In the Night
4. Cry of Love
5. Everything I Say
6. (‐)
7. The Invisible Past
8. She’s in Parties
Belinda Kordic - Vocals, Percussion
Andy Taylor - Guitars
Justin Greaves - Guitars, Drums, Bass, Samples, Saw
Helen Stanley - Grand Piano, Synthesizers, Trumpet
Record Label: Season of Mist Records


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