Crippled Black Phoenix
Banefyre


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
September 10th, 2022 | 79 replies


Release Date: 09/09/2022 | 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 (95)
3.9
excellent


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


4229 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


10014 Comments


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

joitp
September 10th 2022


13 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


77 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


9850 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


4229 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks @joitp!



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

SharkTooth
September 10th 2022


14795 Comments


aoty for me

DadKungFu
September 10th 2022


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That avg has me hyped

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2022


50461 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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

DadKungFu
September 10th 2022


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pretty good but this ain't it

butt.
September 10th 2022


10014 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


10014 Comments


You so silly jawnny

Groundking
September 10th 2022


1934 Comments


Album art is lit.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2022


50461 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i have heard precisely two of those albums and neither of em is it and both are too long



they are p good when they're good, but I'm uh SUSPICIOUS that their hit ratio is enough to sustain this one's bazillion minute runtime

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2022


17733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

But that artwork that adorns the cover but

DadKungFu
September 10th 2022


1935 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


1358 Comments


Wat is that album cover

Squiggly
September 10th 2022


540 Comments


Album cover is fucking awesome

Uzumaki
September 11th 2022


4142 Comments


Damn, Sunny beat Dewi to the new CBP…

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2022


28813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Haha I had enough with Ellengaest and Sunny, as always, did a great job, so... blessings!



About the album, I agree on all those points, lame intro, excessive run time, but god the second half is among their best material for sure, and the singer sounds like he is a great fit.



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