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crippled black phoenix - A Love of Shared Disasters
Something of a post-rock supergroup, there has been a lot of interest in Crippled Black Phoenix - thanks I'm sure to sharing a bassist with a certain Mogwai? When it comes to post rock it's hard to get more right royal than those Scottish gentlemen, and as you can imagine their loyal legions of fans would snap up pretty much anything they are involved with - but Crippled Black Phoenix is more than a mere side project, and includes a whole bunch of esteemed folks; Justin Greaves (Electric Wizard), Joe Volk and Andy Semmens and Kostas Panagiotou (of Panthiest). Luckily the album lives up to the hype, and although our tastes where whet by a rather killer 10" ep a few months back, the full-length album is really where the band find their feet. They claim to use a variety of modern amplified and Victorian instruments, and Victorian is the first word that sprung to mind on listening through 'A Love of Shared Disasters'. It might be a little clichéd to go all olde worlde when writing largely instrumental post-rock tracks, but amidst a fog of chimes and rustling Crippled Black Phoenix really pull a blinder. You know you're in for something a bit special when you begin an album with a track called 'The Lament of the Nithered Mercenary' but here's a track that really lives up to it's name; a creaking, blustering lament replete with deep wordless vocals and half-heard organ sounds. This could be Wolfmangler or Aethnor it's so doom-laden and demonic, but then we're catapulted into something a little more upbeat with the album's second track 'Really, How'd it get this Way?'. The transition from dark into light is slightly jarring, but somehow it works - and this is a technique the band uses throughout the album, sliding from new to old and back again, light and dark, good and evil. This is eventually what sets the record apart from so many other similar albums, although it's nothing new if you've been following the Constellation catalogue for instance, the expertise in which it is executed sets it head and shoulders above the competition. It's an album that needs to be heard and absorbed in its entirety - it is for me the audio equivalent of shopping in a dusty antique shop. Gorgeous...