No Sadness or Farewell is the latest 2012 offering from UK’s post rock supergroup, Crippled Black Phoenix.
I have heard a lot of negative comments regarding this release, especially since male vocalist, Joe Volk departed from the group and was replaced by John E. Vistic. Even though Joe’s presence will be greatly missed on future CBP recordings, John is a fantastic replacement, he has a beautiful natural voice and vocal style that at times reminds me of Ian Astbury (The Cult).
No Sadness or Farewell is a 6 track mini album, recorded in the depths of the Lincolnshire countryside at Chapel studios. It is quite a slow pace journey until you reach the final track “Long Live Independence”, When the song kicks in with the extra toms and percussion pounding away, it’s hard not to tap along to this track. One thing that I have always loved about CBP is that they are not scared to experiment with additional instruments and are always willing to create an open minded experience for their listeners. The 2nd track “Hold On (So Goodbye to all of that)” is where John E. Vistic’s vocal work really shines! He shows amazing skill, great range and fantastic lyrics, the last 3 minutes of that song absolutely blew me away and gave me shivers down the back of my neck, it’s a song that provides you with so much heart and feeling.
Justin Greaves (Iron Monkey, Electric Wizard) song writing and structuring is fantastic! His one of those guys that knows his way around his instrument, like a true craftsman, just how a fine carpenter knows how to use his tools. To me it seems he would have been of those kids back at school in your music class that could pick up any instrument and absolutely show everyone up, he could write the perfect song in his sleep, someone to always be jealous of. Greaves has a fantastic guitar tone, at times he provides a gentle chorus tele sound to the rusty country sound of a resonator to the warmth of heated valves. Though don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just a Greaves show, the other 6 or so members also add their special elements that create whole CBP experience.
I’ve been listening and following this band since they first started and when they release “I, Vigilante” in 2010, that record set a extremely high bar for me and it would be extremely hard to top, I still listen to that record at least a couple times a week. After saying that, I rather enjoyed this release, I was a bit worried what to originally expect due to all the negative opinions I had heard and the addition of a new vocalist, but this is another great effort by one of the better bands I have heard in the last 10 years, I don’t think it’s their best work to date but it is still an enjoyable listen and definitely worth owning. I found it to be more of a grower than instant ear candy, which is much better in my opinion cause the albums appeal will last a lot longer and will provide you much more enjoyment in the long run.
CHBP scores this record 7 out of 10