Dark proggers Crippled Black Phoenix have shared the second single from their upcoming album Banefyre – out via Season Of Mist on September 9 – and the video that accompanies Everything Is Beautiful But Us resembles a stunning nature documentary.
Justin Greaves comments: "Although this is not a 'lockdown' song, Belinda [Kordic]'s lyrics were certainly inspired by the lack of human activity we found when the first lockdown began. We were going for walks where I live in the countryside and the silence was amazing, the air seemed more fresh and there was a definite increase of wildlife activity. So it made us both realise more than ever how ugly we are as a race, humans basically ruin everything.
"Musically this is one of my personal faves on the new album. It plays an integral part in the sound journey, it’s simple but powerful. Very CBP."
The album, which is the follow-up to 2020's Ellengæst, also features Swedish vocalist Joel Segerstedt, who made his debut with the band on last year's single Painful Reminder/Dead Is Dead.
Adds co-singer Kordic, "What I like about Joel is that he’s a good person. There’s no fakeness with him; he has cajones. He’s not a bitch-talker, either. I can’t handle people who don’t have a backbone, but Joel is real and can speak his mind.”
This album's 13 songs were recorded at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire, with vocals tracked at Monolith Studio and Kapsylen Studio in Stockholm, Sweden. It was mixed by Kurt Ballou, which has given it a different feel to the band's previous work.
“I love the album so much because it was a different approach with the production,” says Greaves. “For my part, it was a little bit of a reaction. I didn’t want to do the same warm, safe Crippled Black Phoenix album. I’m aware that when we did [2012’s] I, Vigilante, everyone wanted I, Vigilante again. As it so often happens with this band, people complain about the next one, then grow into it.
"Ellengæst is like I, Vigilante. It’s a shorter album. It hit the mark and was done really well, but everyone will expect another Ellengæst. I feared that, but I care enough not to make another Ellengæst. It’s the right thing to do. That’s why we got Kurt to mix it — we wanted that analogue, raw power. Even though the album has mellow moments, those are edgy as well. We just didn’t want to do the same album twice. We’re never going to be a band that people can rely on.”
CBP will preview their new songs on their upcoming European tour, which opens in Germany in Hannover on August 25.
“We’ve done one show since 2019,” says Greaves. “Hopefully, we can get back on track. We’re also going to do something in the States — that’s not just talk, we’re actually going to do it. It’s well overdue. The live band is fucking amazing. We have the five of us and now we have Jordi [Farré] on drums, Paco [Fleischfresser] on synth and a really good friend of mine, Matt Crawford on bass.
“We did the Leipzig show and even though the rehearsals were better than the show itself, that line-up, our live band, is so good. Because we haven’t been under pressure to put a live band together since 2019 and spent so long talking to people, we’ve got a better band from those results. Out of disaster, we’ve got quite a good, positive thing.”
Watch the video for Everything Is Beautiful But Us below and scroll down for the European tour dates.
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Crippled Black Phoenix tour dates:
Aug 25: GER Hannover Faust
Aug 26: GER Hamburg Banhoff Pauli
Aug 27: DEN Copenhagen Hotel Cecil
Aug 28: GER Berlin SO36
Aug 29: GER Leipzig Täubchenthal
Aug 30: GER Munich Backstage
Aug 31: HUN Budapest A38
Sep 1: AUT Vienna Chelsea
Sep 2: ITA Bologna Link
Sep 3: SWI Winterhur Gasswerk
Sep 4: FRA Paris Backstage
Sep 5: GER Cologne Essikfabrik
Sep 6: NED Zoertemeer Boerdrij
Sep 7: UK London The Dome
Sep 8: UK Bristol The Fleece
Sep 9: UK Manchester Rebellion
Sep 10: UK Glasgow Classic Grand