Crippled Black Phoenix
(Mankind) The Crafty Ape


3.5
great

Review

by Mendigo USER (21 Reviews)
February 6th, 2012 | 51 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: So un-modern it’s a joy.

Crippled Black Phoenix are backwards, and almost some 40 years at that. Despite often being lumped into the post rock genre their music largely revolves around the cornerstones of classic rock: Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Who, a Tom Waits homage here, a Journey cover there and Pink Floyd everywhere. They are so decidedly un-modern it’s a joy. On (Mankind) The Crafty Ape they once again reinvent nothing, starting with themselves. Yet a tad heavier around the edges, the songs overall shorter than last time around, but all in all you get nothing you wouldn’t come to expect.

Not so much a band rather than a collective, Crippled Black Phoenix change line-ups constantly and include band members of a wide array of different groups (the terms supergroup sometimes gets thrown around as well). The centerpieces are drummer and band-founder Justin Greaves from the metal-stoners Electric Wizard and folk musician Joe Volk as vocalist and lyricist, who sadly left the group after the recording of this album. Also very much noteworthy is Karl Demata, who’s a god-damn beast on the guitar.

Like any self-respecting prog album (Mankind) The Crafty Ape is both a double album and a concept album. In three chapters. About something. The fact that one song has the impeccable title “Release the Clowns” almost makes me want to decipher whatever story they are apparently telling, but I fear that it doesn’t involve an actual horde of clowns being let loose on a blood-frenzied rampage.

But aside with the superficialities. After a short intro “The Heart of Every Country” leads us through a rich ambient section and then adds some relaxing acoustic guitar before the whole band comes in with a groove right out of a forgotten Pink Floyd recording. From there on it all falls into place perfectly: the bluesy guitar lines, the tastefully placed keyboards and synthesizers, the sparse but effective sound gimmicks, the eternally grooving rhythm section. These guys know exactly what they are doing and how to do it for maximum effect. The production holds it together in a way that leaves place for both soft dreamlike passages and heavier rock explosions, capable of both rough and delicate moments. Only Joe Volk’s vocals sometimes seem a tad pale against the huge sound of the band, but his melodies are all the sweeter for it. Those in the absolutely stunning “The Brain / Poznan” for example. And after the album has gone through over an hour of (mostly) exciting alternations between soft and heavy, quiet and loud, low key and huge they even remember to round it off with a rousing 15 minute longtrack with an even longer title. When you’re already doing a 70s prog album in 2012 you might as well go all the way. It pays off.



Recent reviews by this author
Gonjasufi A Sufi and a KillerWorld Sanguine Report Third One Rises
...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead The Century of SelfKing Crimson Red
Nemo BarbaresEphel Duath Through My Dog's Eyes
user ratings (80)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mendigo
February 6th 2012


2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ey guys. First review in what, 2 years?

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2012


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really nice review Mendigo, nice to see you back after so long away. pos.

gonna keep my eye out for this one, I really really liked I, Vigilante.

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2012


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I totally agree about them sounding less like a post-rock outfit and more just like a throwback prog/rock group.

Tarnished
February 6th 2012


364 Comments


shut up aids you pencil dicked cunt

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


31341 Comments


Need to dl this

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


6196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This got considerable praise in the February issue of the Hellenic Metal Hammer too, guess this is worth investigating further.

Digging: Alkoholizer - Free Beer... Surf's Up!!!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


31341 Comments


And yeah review is great, agreed on all points etc

Tarnished
February 6th 2012


364 Comments


good review yeah so dev wanna write me that review feller?

Scoot
February 6th 2012


17812 Comments


defs need to get on this

nice review

Tarnished
February 6th 2012


364 Comments


scoot wanna write me a review?

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


6154 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I, Vigilante is better but yeah this is pretty good

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


6196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review man, pos, you should write more.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


7417 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This sounded really Pink Floydish to me. Good review.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2012


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

edit edit edit

Tarnished
February 6th 2012


364 Comments


aidsisgay.com

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2012


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

THANKS!

Tarnished
February 6th 2012


364 Comments


i made it myself oh wait no i didnt the africans did

Tarnished
February 6th 2012


364 Comments


oops

Mendigo
February 6th 2012


2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you liked I, Vigilante chances are you'll like this as well.

also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSg917RuF_k

scissorlocked
February 6th 2012


3511 Comments


great job man

This came really fast after i vigilante

I will definitely give it a listen

Digging: Traumprinz - All The Things



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy