Crippled Black Phoenix
Banefyre


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
September 10th, 2022 | 84 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's a banefyre, turn the lights out

Crippled Black Phoenix have been a staple of the musical underground for around fifteen years now. The brainchild of former Electric Wizard drummer Justin Greaves, the group has seen a wide circle of musicians contribute at various times, and stands out for their ability to create dark and moody atmospheres through a wide range of genre influences. Banefyre is their latest album, an absolute behemoth of an LP even by the band’s oft long-winded standards.

One unfortunately necessary note: the less said about this album’s intro track “Incantation For The Different”, the better. At best, it’s an ill-advised addition to an already very lengthy release, at worst, it’s a little piece which approaches life-threatening levels of cringe. Fortunately, though, the second track, “Wyches And Basterdz”, quickly wipes that bad taste out of the listener’s mouth, providing a high level of quality which most of the rest of the album manages to maintain.

As a whole, this record stretches to around ninety-three minutes in duration across twelve tracks. Listeners aware of Crippled Black Phoenix’s previous material won’t necessarily be surprised by the sonic influences in play, but the songs here are satisfactorily diverse. “Wyches And Basterdz” may be the most overtly metallic offering, running on a foundation of doomy riffage, while mid-album duet of “Rose Of Jericho” and “Blackout77” delve deep into post-rock, feeling like lost cuts from some classic 2000s era release in that genre. In between, there are more immediate, alt-rock tinged offerings, along with “Ghostland”, which thrives as a surprisingly anthemic number built upon a mournful and vaguely Celtic folk melody. In the album’s later stages, “Everything Is Beautiful But Us” leans into an unusually upbeat rendition of Emma Ruth Rundle-style gaze-Gothic, while mammoth closer “The Scene Is A False Prophet” is all melancholy prog meets post-metal, ominous and powerful but always operating with restraint.

Banefyre does suffer a bit from the common malady of works of this span: over 1.5 hours is a long time to dedicate to a single record, and a little trimming probably would benefit the effort’s impact as a whole. That said, bar the intro which shall not be named, Crippled Black Phoenix have done a very impressive job here of crafting reliably excellent music, and even given the degree of stylistic variation, there’s a coherent mood throughout. Likely not surprisingly, this album’s a bit of a downer, contemplating such topics as social inequity and urban unrest, depression, and religion, none of which are delivered in a particularly uplifting way. The results provide a vibe somewhere between a more ordinary artistic expression of angst and a soundtrack to a candlelit Satanic ritual. All this is to say that while Banefyre is an album which will genuinely rock your socks off in a fair number of spots, it’s the haunting nature of many of its songs which will stay with the listener more than anything.



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user ratings (151)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2022


5974 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules, minus a few quibbles.



Might be dating myself with the Chlldish Gambino reference, but oh well...

butt.
September 10th 2022


10980 Comments


4.4 after 25 ratings? aight. I suppose I should czech it

joitp
September 10th 2022


14 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This new CBP caught me off guard, what a phenomenal piece of music. Great review too!

Medicinelover
September 10th 2022


103 Comments


I choose to believe the intro purposely sucks so that the listeners expectations drop immediately only for the rest of the album to be great. This dichotomy thus creating a "pleasant surprise" if you will

WatchItExplode
September 10th 2022


10472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really enjoyed this on first listen. Definitely going to require some more effort to sort my feelings on it

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2022


5974 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks @joitp!



@Medicinelover, interesting theory, if so it does work!

SharkTooth
September 10th 2022


14922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

aoty for me

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2022


4979 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That avg has me hyped

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2022


4979 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pretty good but this ain't it

butt.
September 10th 2022


10980 Comments


*Band releases 10 albums over 15 year career, lowest avg being a 3.5*

“ sceptical to see if this band has finally put out something above a 3”

butt.
September 10th 2022


10980 Comments


You so silly jawnny

Groundking
September 10th 2022


2307 Comments


Album art is lit.

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2022


4979 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That artwork is mint and I've said it elsewhere but 2022 has been one of the GOAT years for album art

Pho3nix
September 10th 2022


1621 Comments


Wat is that album cover

Squiggly
September 10th 2022


1274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album cover is fucking awesome

Uzumaki
September 11th 2022


4539 Comments


Damn, Sunny beat Dewi to the new CBP…

Gyromania
September 11th 2022


37188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That intro track is the worst shit I've ever heard. The second song was great tho. Bonefire is an immediate S tier in their discography

RadioSuicide
September 11th 2022


2629 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

eh i'm a sucker for spoken word shit

SharkTooth
September 11th 2022


14922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I found it kinda dull but not as unbearable as everyone else seems to find it.



It works well for what it's trying to do

Brinner
September 11th 2022


113 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

aoty for me, and no complaints about the album length either. Just shows the adhd nature of society today that we can't binge a 90-minute album without it labelled as a criticism.



I'd much rather have it this way round that some other artist conning us into calling a 35-minute record an 'album'.



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