The United Kingdom group has been a busy bunch in the past period of time, and this one is actually from a little while ago. The EP is an odd inbetweener, allowing Crippled Black Phoenix to do something different and also to break the silence after White Light Generator and of course as a special release for their tour back then.
Calling anything that takes 60 minutes an EP is just plain weird, but it makes sense. Two originals, where the band goes a bit to the heavy end. The other part of the album, taking up the bulk of the time, is the cover of Echoes by Pink Floyd, record the band was probably destined to cover.
Spider Island is the opener, with a funny Mad Max intro, but then immediately throwing the listener into the deep end with majestic passages and a swooping wave of music to wash over you. It’s a strong tune with a sense of melancholy and a weary drag to it, but still completely Crippled Black Phoenix with its layered sound. There’s a lot going on, but the big drum sounds keep everything grounded for about five minutes.
That’s where we go into the title track, which is almost 15 minutes as well. Another heavy song, but with more different passages during its long time span, the track feels like an EP on its own. There’s a sense of foreboding here, a lead-up to the part of the record that’s to follow, namely the Pink Floyd material. From a strong sounding procession, it dwindles down to eerie synths and trickling bells. Then suddenly the sound soars again towards the end, in a grand, bombastic explosion.
A short sound bite follows, where we hear the members of Pink Floyd talk about their career. It serves as a legitimisation of the cover and maybe also to put Crippled Black Phoenix on par with their heroes. What follows is the long ride, that is Echoes, but a lot more brooding and dark compared to the original. It sounds bigger, reinvented by the group that is paying homage to the masters of the progressive-psychedelic rock music.
Crippled Black Phoenix manages to be captivating on New Dark Age, showing their skills and making a brilliant piece of Pink Floyd inspired music. Though it’s been out for a while, this might be a good one to go back to.
Scribed by: Guido Segers