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5 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mighty Journey, 4 Feb 2012
By 
Timothy P. Taylor (Bolton, Lancs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: (Mankind) The Crafty Ape (Audio CD)
This is easily the most consistent album from CBP. Really dark themes with music to match. It starts with Floydian In the Flesh bludgeon riffola, trips through heavy blues, Zappa intesity, Black Mountain grooves, fantastic Muse type piano arpeggios and nods to the Shadows. This is a mighty journey that draws you along all the way. It could only be the magnificent CBP. Any album with a song called Faced With Complete Failure Utter Defiance Is The Only Response simply must be bought. Now get Trevor Horn to edit it the last track, release as 12 inch vinyl single with several completely diffent mixes and produce baggy white tee shirts with "Greaves say Faced With Complete Failure etc..." it has got to be the recipe for summer 2012. Great work guys keep it coming can't wait to see it all live.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has This Band Now Come Of Age?, 2 Feb 2012
By 
Cornish Deadhead "Happy Harv" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: (Mankind) The Crafty Ape (Audio CD)
I see that Zon describes this as CBP's fifth album which I guess one could say is correct but I consider it their fourth as The Ressurectionists & Night Raider to me was simply the extended version of 200 Tons Of Bad Luck.

This album is a long way from A Love of Shared Disasters, their first album in my opinion, both in content and production, as one of the failings in the past has actually being able to make out the sung lyrics. This is quite a sprawling album with serious themes and not much of a feel-good factor to it but for those who have encountered CBP in the past, that will come as no surprise. Their last album (I Vigilante), was far more of a conventional rock album to me, but here they have returned more to "200 Tons" format, but I'm not sure yet whether there is anything to touch "Burnt Reynolds" on that album.

For those who have enjoyed their previous albums, I consider it highly unlikely that they would not enjoy this one. For those new to the band, it is difficult in my opinion how to categorise them. For some they fall under the prog umbrella, but I don't really see that, and though they come under the broad scope of rock, they are not at all typical of the genre. They combine a variety of instruments to create something quite unique, or at the very least unusual. So, if you like your music to be more than just bubblegum, to be creative, a little "dark", then give this British band a chance - what have you got to loose!

My final comment is on the packaging, a double CD in a foldout digipak with a booklet housed in a centre pocket. Not as good as "Ressurectionists", 100% cardboard, but a lot better than a plastic box.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 12 Mar 2013
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C. Goddard - See all my reviews
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Beutifully crafted and something really different from the norm. Need to devote whole attention to listening to this album and not one for putting on in the background!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Progressive Stoner Rock, Post Rock, Goth Metal Concept album?, 2 Feb 2014
By 
Mushroom "a Psychedelic Terrorist" (UK or in the Shpongle Multiverse) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: (Mankind) The Crafty Ape (Audio CD)
Much is misunderstood and misconceived about Crippled Black Phoenix, it is their uniqueness within the genres of music they have been labeled as, that sets them apart from many more popular and sadly more successful bands. Crippled Black Phoenix have been shifting their personnel since they started life about 10 years ago. So they are more a collective of musicians than a band as such. This outfit is the brainchild of Justin Greaves who was the drummer in Iron Monkey a sludge metal band from Nottingham. It is still a collective and it is because of these combined collective energies and musical influences that this group of individuals operates on a different level to much of it's contemporaries. Stamps like Stoner Rock, Post Rock and Progressive Rock don't really support the genre spanning magnitude of an album like (Mankind) The Crafty Ape. It has some heavy moments, it has some ambient moments, it has some punchy songs, both male and female vocals. the odd brass flourish and some extended instrumental parts. It is also a concept album in three parts.
Progressive Rock fans may well enjoy it, not just for the concept but the clear references to Pink Floyd in the early part with song parts such as 'The Heart of Every Country'. However after you start thinking this just sounds like Pink Floyd they run with it and forge their own sound. There seems to be 'The Wall' references which are somewhat indirect but there is a feeling of a strong political message in reference to the present situation that we find ourselves in and a suggestion of how much longer are we prepared to take this? There is a call for change, probably in relation to revolution and that people are waking up, on a social, ideological and spiritual level. Not only are we free but there is freedom of consciousness. This is helped by the very carefully constructed artwork and lavishly illustrated booklet that comes with the CD and Vinyl. Integrating lyrics, questions and quotation and carefully colour coded for consistency. The artwork by Matthew Dunn is great and each page is like instructions in the form of a graphic novel.
This is not mere brainwashing though, however it is an emotive voice that has something valid to say and isn't going to waste it's time being less direct. This has certainly revived the whole old style idea of having an LP as a full package as something to take home listen to and contemplate the cover and information. Once upon a time LPs used to come with sleevenotes on the back cover which provided information and biographical details about the band you were listening to. With the Gatefold Sleeve LPs became items of contemplation and this fit with both Psychedelic and Progressive Rock music. With CD culture and digital culture the idea of an LP or Concept record as an artform or package seems to have been lost. Bjork embraced this challenge with her recent Biophillia project. So it is nice to see a functional concept record again.
Some of you out there might feel that concept albums are pretentious and speak of music from the past and it is these past references that make this record so strong, but it is also the balance of music and musicians, so it plays out quite cinematically and builds well, unfortunately it seems to not end of a high point lyrically. It seems to leave you wondering what it is trying to say which is good for repeated listening. It has not really provided a solution to a problem it has illustrated, however Crippled Black Phoenix music has been described as 'Endtime Ballads'. This would be a somewhat simplistic way to describe what they do, they are far more emotional and intelligent than that, however their music is a soundtrack and a reflection of a coming apocalyptic and bleak time. The music on the second disc starts quite mournful and builds to a much more dramatic and courageous nearly 15 minutes instrumental track, here the Post Rock references would be supported, the use of bowed guitar and ambient space.
Writing this now as having only a recent introduction to this CBP experience with the release of their new album 'White Light Generator' March 17th 2014 I can probably anticipate some continuation of the ideas that have been presented within this dynamic work of imagination and sensitivity. Especially the late introduction and debut of Belinda Kordic from 'Killing Mood' who also appears on one the most sublime and emotionally transcendental pieces of music by 'Crippled Black Phoenix' on their more recent ep 'No Sadness, or Farewell'. 'What have we got to Lose'.
I would say fans of Porcupine Tree will really enjoy Crippled Black Phoenix it is not too pompous to be classed as neo progressive, no frilly shirts here. it is not really heavy enough to be progressive metal, although it is angry, doomy and loud and for some reason reminds me of German psychedelic underground bands like Amon Duul II, it is also not as ponderous and esoteric as Tool, which may be a good thing as sometimes there is problem with accessibility and this cultivates self indulgence rather than a more direct approach of communication. The message is clear, 'Use Your Anger to Creatively Destroy Your Oppressors'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Octopus!!!, 19 July 2014
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Excellent!
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(Mankind) The Crafty Ape
(Mankind) The Crafty Ape by Crippled Black Phoenix (Audio CD - 2012)
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