Bronze consists primarily of copper, but it is the inclusion of other metals and non-metals that gives this alloy its specific characteristics. Ever since mankind discovered the secret of its making thousands of years ago, the golden and shining bronze has changed the course of history, spawned destruction and war, yet also been crafted into desired objects of extreme beauty. You will find each of these traits inherent in the sixth studio album from Crippled Black Phoenix, which is aptly taking its title from this fateful alloy.
Instead of copper, dark rock forms the base ingredient in this musical amalgamation process, but it is the addition of metal, progressive, gothic, even pop influences, and many other elements as well as a changing cast of musicians that result in each song shining with its own individual hue and tone. Yet a deep sense of anguish, despair, longing, loss, melancholy, and nostalgia forms a binding force that holds Bronze together and formulates an encompassing theme.
This musical darkness is reflected in the lyrical themes dominating the record, which partly revolve around battling inner demons and resisting oppression. The constant struggle comes as no surprise when taking into account that poetic mastermind Justin Greaves has recently gone public about his personal fight against severe depression. For him, not letting the “black dog” devour you is a big message mixed within his songs.
This band has always confounded critics trying to pin their style down ever since multi-instrumentalist Greaves recorded his first ideas in 2004 – which earned them tagging attempts ranging from stoner prog through freak folk to psychedelic doom. Despite the wide range of musical leanings within their albums, there is a unifying dark streak and sombre melancholy running through the songs. Before founding CBP Greaves had already made himself a name as drummer for Iron Monkey and Electric Wizard among others. When he finally decided to stand on his own musical feet, Crippled Black Phoenix was born as a project. The band involves a changing cast of musicians and live set-ups, which mirror the ever ongoing evolution of the band and the fact that the songs were mostly not composed with their live performance on mind.
Between 2007 and 2014, CBP released a string of five critically highly acclaimed studio albums – from A Love of Shared Disasters (2007), via The Resurrectionists (2009), Night Raider (2009), to (Mankind) The Crafty Ape (2012) and White Light Generator (2014). This was complemented by EPs I, Vigilante (2010), No Sadness or Farewell (2012), and Oh’ Ech-oes (2015), the live recording Live Poznan (2013), and the 200 Tons of Bad Luck compilation (2009). Their New Dark Age Tour EP 2015 A.D. was the band’s first release on Season of Mist that came with an extensive homage to Pink Floyd.
The strong influence of the UK rock giants can still be felt on Bronze, yet while the band have never denied their roots, this outstanding act has long created its own sonic cosmos and now takes it a dimension further. Be warned that Bronze will infect you with a most deep fascination. Shine on…
Bronze was recorded at Chapel Studio and mixed with Karl Daniel Lidén.
Dead Imperial Bastard
Champions Of Disturbance (Pt 1 & 2)
Turn To Stone
Scared And Alone
Winning A Losing Battle
We are the Darkeners
Justin Greaves: guitar, backing vocals, saw, samples, bass (studio), drums (studio)
Mark Furnevall: synthesizer, keyboard, organ, sound manipulation
Daniel Änghede: vocals
Daisy Chapman: piano
Ben Wilsker: drums (live)
Jonas Stålhammar: guitar, hammond, synth
Belinda Kordic: vocals, banshee, lead vocalist on Scared And Alone
Tom Greenway: bass
Chrissie Caulfield: violin, harp, fog horn
Arthur Young: piano
Arvid Jonsson: vocals on Turn To Stone