15 Songs, 1 Hour 19 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

1.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

J_Bradford ,

Dull and disappointing rehash of older material

I've been a fan of Crippled Black Phoenix for many years. Unfortunately they haven't been the same since the departure of longtime singer/guitarist Joe Volk in early 2012. The band's following EP "No Sadness or Farewell" (late 2012) had its moments but the new singer John Vistic was an awkward fit for the band's sound.

Now we have "White Light Generator" (2014), the band's first full-length record since Volk's departure. We also have yet another new singer: Daniel Anghede from the Swedish duo Hearts of Black Science. The good news is that Anghede is a better fit to the band than his predecessor Vistic. Unfortunately the songs on this record don't give him much to work with, and the end result is disappointing.

The record gets off to a poor start with the treacly, formulaic ballad "Sweeter Than You" and it's all downhill from there. Much of "White Light Generator" is a stale rehash of riffs and sounds from previous CBP records. Prime examples are "Wake Me Up When It's Time to Sleep" and the bombastic "NO! Part 1". It doesn't help that Anghede sometimes adopts a singing style that's a little too reminiscent of Joe Volk. It's as if Greaves and his bandmates have run out of musical ideas.

At other times the songs veer dangerously close to the corporate-rock territory of bands like Coldplay and Train. One can't fault Greaves for wanting more popularity and radio play for his often-overlooked band. But it just doesn't work for a group that has such deep roots in prog-rock and classic hard rock.

In the end, "White Light Generator" doesn't measure up to the legacy of this great and largely unappreciated group of musicians. In the last seven years, they made a string of brilliant records -- including "The Resurrectionists/Night Raider" (2008), "I, Vigilante" (2010), and their crowning achievement "(Mankind) The Crafty Ape" (2011). If you are new to the band, I suggest starting with any of those records and skip this boring, commercialized disappointment that is unworthy of the name Crippled Black Phoenix.

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