Zero Tolerance Magazine – Review of BRONZE – 5.5/6

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“Where to begin?
Cards on the table then.
Crippled Black Phoenix are the most
underrated rock band around.

SOM debut Bronze begins with a quite calming and
spacey synth and soft beat track that
wouldn’t have been out of place on the
Drive soundtrack. The record continues on
a low heat – always immersive without letting
go. As the paradoxically soothing tones
of ‘Rotten Memories’ recede, nine-minute
epic ‘Champions Of Disturbance …’ marks the
shift to a more anthemic gear in which you
can almost feel a mid-period Anathema and
Katatonia vibe.

After another softer moment,
‘Turn To Stone’ picks us up and drops us in a
world where Ozzy-era Sabbath became
a blues-influenced post-rock band.

And yet, the final three tracks on the album are
way the real magic happens. The genuinely
tear-inducing ‘Scared And Alone’, with wind
backing and female vocals is like the best
song Jesse Sykes never performed, while
closing masterpiece ‘We Are The Darkeners’,
with Robert Holm’s heart-wrenching trumpet
contribution, makes the world around
you disappear and will be the sonic parasite
taking refuge in your brain for weeks to
come.

I may well have to go back to 1997 and
Godspeed Your Black Emperor’s F# A# eo to
find a record which sparked such a transcendental
journey of build-up and release.

geoff birchenall 5.5/6

Oct - 28 2016

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