Crippled Black Phoenix
I, Vigilante


5.0
classic

Review

by pizzamachine USER (632 Reviews)
March 8th, 2023 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A true black and white classic.

If one indulged in the thriving hive that was Sputnikmusic (circa 2010) I, Vigilante was the talk of the town, and for good reason — it was a masterpiece. Still, the album can’t possibly be as great as one remembers from eons ago, can it? Surprise, it can.

Post-rock and prog rock come in plethoras of forms, though the embellishments within I, Vigilante involve more layers than an Arctic suit. A Pink Floyd influence is unmistakably situated with trippy organs, hazy synths and the like, yet I, Vigilante has endless unique factors to brush upon. The hammered drumset is but one standout feature that catches the ear, with razor sharp cymbals courtesy of the immensely bright and clear production of the album. It’s interesting to note that despite Crippled Black Phoenix’s skillful (and gung-ho) drummer, the album is undeniably chill. Even during rhythmic delights like the opening track, there is a sense of calm that permeates the air. The singer effectively indicates a soother of an album — his voice is as gentle as a slight breeze, even when boisterous.

Now hold on one minute, these tracks are quite engaging. The chorus, vocal harmonies, and simplicity of Burning Bridges strikes a tone quite similar to ABBA — a catchy and wistful end to the album. Fantastic Justice features plentiful drum fills, triumphant horns, and a powerful singing performance. We Forgotten Who We Are has an ironically unforgettable moody croon and driving guitar line. The track eventually bursts, with piano flourishes and soaring guitars in full bloom.

I could keep going on and on about how the separate songs sound, for the nuance continues to stream out like a fountain. Each track is bustling with special moments, bringing something memorable, whether it be piano, strings, or something else that invigorates the tapestry. However, the album is much more than its instruments and parts. Indeed, the album is crafted well, and with their tools they conjure a gorgeous setting. I found myself lost in their splendour filled ocean of atmospheric guitar work. I was equally captivated with the band’s wrappings of haunting, mystical melodies.

I failed to mention how hard the album progs, but it is hard. They certainly take their time with often lengthy tracks to set a tone, but that’s not all! Layers upon layers are consistently added, instruments and melodies in perfect rhythm and harmony, inducing immersive euphoria, and a pulling whirlpool of ideas. I’d be remiss to not mention how the tracks indeed progress. Rather than setting their music on automatic, the tracks go through endless, but smooth flowing transitions of sounds, like a ship engaging in slipstream space. One might think the band are taking it easy during one second, and wouldn’t you know it? Everything changes the next.

So that’s it, it’s an album for the ages because through the ages not many have crafted such a delectable selection of unexpected sounds utilized in such cleverly calculated methods. The melodies are certain to take us somewhere fantastical and evocative — the power of music at its finest. Call it what genre you like, compare them to certain bands, but the fact remains that great music is included.



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user ratings (262)
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
March 8th 2023


27394 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Worked hard on this one, I was vexed it wasn’t reviewed haha. Thoughts?

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2023


32073 Comments


Absolutely LOVE this album, and your hard work payed off, great review dude.

Digging: Alcest - Les Chants de L'Aurore

Jash
March 8th 2023


5053 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

“It’s interesting to note that despite Crippled Black Phoenix’s gung-ho (and skillful) drummer”



I think if you switched the gung-ho and skillful it would land your point better, but that’s just me. Great review all in all, has made me want to revisit this for sure

pizzamachine
March 8th 2023


27394 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Dewinged. Jash, you’re right, I’ll flip that ty

bellovddd
March 8th 2023


6572 Comments


No idea who this is. But I'll listen and come back and 1 it or 5 it. No in between.

pizzamachine
March 8th 2023


27394 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Live and let live :]

Jethro42
March 8th 2023


18281 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great it has finally a review. ''Of a Lifetime'' is an old Journey song. I don't like the rip offs.

artiswar
March 8th 2023


13880 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't recall the last time I saw a 5 from you, I guess I should check this huh

pizzamachine
March 8th 2023


27394 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I don’t do 5s often. ;)

artiswar
March 8th 2023


13880 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I'm definitely taking this for a spin

Zac124
March 8th 2023


2901 Comments


Great review! I should give this a go. I do need more prog rock.

ffs
March 8th 2023


6269 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice write up and album. i always read the band name in johnny morrow's voice

Chippe
March 8th 2023


411 Comments


We forgotten who we are is such a jam!

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2023


32073 Comments


Bostogne Blues tho...

Azazzel
March 9th 2023


937 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The dog in the album art was popularized in 90s China during a fad of oppositional sardonic t-shirts with gallows humor and straight-faced irony like: ‘Life’s a bore’ (zhen lei) and ‘I’m pissed, leave me alone’ (fanzhe né, bie li wo). Others parodied old Party slogans, like ‘I’m not afraid of hardship, nor afraid of dying; and I’m not afraid of you’ (yi bupa ku, er bupa si, ye bupa ni).



The police took the dog in the image to be a vicious wolf and The message of the shirt to be a warning that people should beware of evil.



https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSOwuGEadFj6aBmfL-QxfLRssKvfLE6Mjdn1SRGXCtOCg&sr

Azazzel
March 9th 2023


937 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

double posted so bonus link edit



https://contemporary_chinese_culture.en-academic.com/746/T-shirts_and_their_culture

egads
March 10th 2023


150 Comments


brother the shit is so classic

egads
March 10th 2023


150 Comments


been listening to this since the ol days when we talked about this album here all the time you right, still holds up great

the first 3 tracks are all timers

artiswar
March 15th 2023


13880 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was pretty mid for me. A couple of odd observations: For some reason, I had this band confused with An Autumn For Crippled Children. Idk why, but it turns out I haven’t heard them before. My first impression was they reminded me of an obscure French band that I really like, then I looked through their albums and noticed this uncanny album art similarity:



https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/78533/Crippled-Black-Phoenix-Great-Escape/



https://www.sputnikmusic.com/soundoff.php?albumid=203303



I think someone was inspired :O



I enjoyed it, it reminded me of Porcupine Tree too at times, but I didn’t love it. I don’t get the boner you had for this. It was a good listen though

pizzamachine
March 23rd 2023


27394 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This was pretty mid for me.



no no NO!☹️ Listen again.



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