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Prog rock and post rock have in some ways travelled along similar lines, but in different time frames. Prog was an early 70's genre, bred out of post psychedelia. Post rock came out of post punk/new wave of the late 70's. early 80's and developed through the late 80's into the 90's. However what links them is an attitude to produce music that pushes the boundaries of "standard rock" into some form of art rock. Strangely, both have rarely co-joined. The reason for that is probably more to do with attitude. Its that prog v punk thing again.

But here we have Crippled Black Phoenix, a band made up of members from recognised post rock bands, but clearly playing music that owes as much to prog as post rock. Take the track "Rise Up and Fight". This is pure middle period Pink Floyd. The strident bass is straight from "One of the Days" and there's even a synth solo. But then you have the slowly, reflective instrumental "Wendigo" which is more in a typical post rock vein, of someone like "Godspeed You Black Emperor". Or the epic lengthy (18 minutes plus) of "Time of Ye Life/Born for Nothing/Paranoid Arm of Narcoleptic Empire" is text book prog. Well, I could go on. Whatever, It all works very well indeed. The bouncing back and forth between styles may be disconcerting at first, but repeated listens does bring a logical cohesiveness to the album as a whole. It is a hugely ambitious achievement and has to be applauded for that. Also, in typical prog fashion the album is available as an extended 2CD box set affair. Just need the triple gatefold sleeve addition to top things off nicely.
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on 6 May 2009
Imagine Labradford jamming in the garage with Godspeed You Black Emperor!, on a bunch of classic Pink Floyd tunes, and you're going someway towards understanding what this awesome album sounds like. Quite simply, this is an absolutely stunning work of art that repays repeated plays and makes you realise that much of what passes for modern music is derivative and uninvolving.

Over the course of 77 minutes Crippled Black Phoenix take you on an aural journey like little else I can remember in recent times. The music is progressive without being pompous, post-rock without being boring, sombre without being depressing and at times almost impossible to pin down. Critics have complained that there is just too much going on here and that the band need to focus their attention, and their sound, but I reckon that it's this unfocussed approach which is at the root of their greatness. All great art should be self indulgent and this marvellous album certainly follows that template.

It has to be said that this is not music that you can stick on in the background whilst you do something else. Rather, it cries out for your undivided attention, holding you in its thrall until the last notes fade away.

This is an album of great and rare beauty, and trying to single out highlights is almost impossible, but try the opening three tracks; as good a thirty four minutes of music as you're likely to come across this year. This is beautiful and deep music which really has something to say.

I cannot recommend this album highly enough. There will be a lot more albums released this year but there won't be a better one than this.
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on 27 May 2009
What more can I say that the others here have not said already. This is quit simply the best album I have heard in a very long time. Lots of post-rock music influenced by Pink Floyd mostly as others have said but what about the glorious Robert Fripp style guitar soundscapes on various tracks, the mellotron instead of violins and sometimes as well as natural strings, the world music violin on one piece thats amazing and the great rock guitar. The extended edition is the one to buy though not this one, why have half a pint when you can get the full works.

Think of Godspeed and Do Make Say Think Playing with Pink Floyd and King Crimson, how amazing would that be, well here it is.

This album has everything a post-rock or prog-rock fan could ever wish for and its fresh and new. Not a duff track here. Even the Floyd fans stuck in 1973 can find something to like about this, so come on, get your heads out of the sand and buy it. WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL, WHAT MORE COULD YOU WISH FOR.
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on 17 January 2010
Burnt Reynolds Great song title,great song This really is progressive in the true sense of the word Ok, so there are echos of Floyd to be found here but listen to the album as a whole and you'll find that this is a band with their own unique musical vision Well worth the money
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VINE VOICEon 21 September 2010
Crippled Black Phoenix are for me the most underrated band around at the moment. Love of Shared Disasters was my album of 2007, but made little impact. 200 Tons of Bad Luck is a worthy successor.

Opener Burt Reynolds is simply stunning and for me one of the best rock songs of recent years. Starts slowly with synth and picked guitar, building to mid-section where all the instrument drop away to leave the band singing before kicking into a fantastic guitar solo to reach it's climax.

It's a hard act for the rest of the album to follow but it just about manages it. CPB are at their best when no one of their diverse influences dominates and on a few occasions 200 Tons is a little to obviously influence by Pink Floyd. But mostly CBP just sound like themselves.

Generally they take their time with slow building songs enhanced by Jo Volks understated vocals, perfectly suited to their eclectic mix of post rock, classic rock, folk even gospel at times. But they can be faster and heavier when they choose e.g Rise Up and Fight and 444.

The combined effect is to create a sound that is both melancholy yet uplifting, in a way perhaps only Mogwai also manage. But despite a shared history (Mogwai bassist Dominic Aitchison was involved at the start of CPB) CBP don't sound like Mogwai, they have a richer musical pallet with acoustic instruments, particularly cello, playing a strong part in the sound.

Overall this is a stunning album of powerful and emotional music.
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on 16 October 2009
Bought as a result of an Amazon recce ...and it's better than what I went out to buy ...thanks Amazon :-)

A couple of dodgy tracks slipped into the middle of the fairly well stuffed album but on the whole there's more than enough here to satisfy even the most serious ProgHead. I don't know if the band would deny it but to me it's heavily Floyd influenced as witnessed by several tracks, in some cases offering what could almost be classed as beta versions of Floyd classics but it's nearly all likeable in it's own right (except that irksome track with the single piano key repeated over and over and over and over and over and over and ...not always keeping time >>press FF here)

Listened to several times the album has grown on me, the wierd bits thrown in for reasons best known to the band (circus stuff, Kelly's Heroes, Scout Hut piano) all add to the quirkiness of the album and the rasping Cello bits that pop up in the latter part of the album all make for an interesting listen.

Certainly one to own and to dive into every now and then.
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on 3 November 2015
Son loved it :-).
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on 25 July 2010
So are the other reviewers related to the band or worse in the band? I fail to see what there is to hear on this CD it tries to be subtle until it ceases to be anything, If I have to use the comparison with Pink Floyd so be it, the genius of the Floyd in the 70s was the space between the sound almost as if there was another instrument adding some sort of emotional energy between the notes like the forces that bind atoms together to create matter. This band have taken that same idea of depth and space but have just created some sort of free floating gas in an empty vaccum

They say imitation is the best for of flattery in this case the imitation is just flat

Way beyond dull just dont buy it
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