Despite all the turbulence, the line up changes, the legal disputes and the gloom and heartache those bring, Crippled Black Phoenix have somehow managed to not only stay alive but also to keep on creating and releasing music out to the world on a steady pace. Since 2014 when the big shit hit the fan for CBP, they have put out at least one release a year, including White Light Generator, New Dark Age Tour EP 2015 A.D., the Oh'Echo-es split with Justin Greaves' other project, Se Delan, and now Bronze, the band's sixth proper full length.
Like with every other CBP release, Bronze is not easy to categorize or even comfortably tell whether it leans more towards post rock, progressive rock, stoner or doom metal, but what one can recognize with certainty upon first listen is that it's one more brilliant, emotional and full of soul work of art in the catalog of Justin and company, a band that's incapable of releasing something other than impressive music.
Lyrically heavy, emotionally staggering and, as expected, produced to excellence, Bronze is probably the strongest CBP album since the immaculate I, Vigilante from back in 2010. On this new endeavor of theirs, CBP's intense use of heavy synths provides a much welcome additional duskiness, while Daniel Änghede's vocals (remember Astroqueen from back in the early 2000s?), as well as those provided by Belinda Kordic, sound more heartfelt than ever. Additionally, the pleasant surprise of having the Ozzy-like vocals of Greenleaf's Arvid Jonsson guest-appearing on the seven-minute cover of Joe Walsh's, Turn To Stone, is yet another positive checkpoint for an album about which is quite hard to find flaws, even if you tried.
Crippled Black Phoenix have now repeatedly proven that the band is stronger than any of the setbacks they have encountered so far and that they won't be going away anytime soon. Bronze seems like the epitome of that aphorism this (well, almost) same bunch of people expressed through an old song of theirs several moons ago: rise up and fight.