If you can get through the opening track, a horrendously pretentious medieval Russian sea chant called The Lament Of The Nithered Mercenary, you've passed the first of many tests set by Crippled Black Phoenix on their challenging debut for Invada (owned by Portishead's Geoff Barrow).
Formed by Electric Wizard's Justin Greaves and Mogwai bassist Dominic Aitchison among others, the Brit art rock collective has created a difficult -- and, at 75 minutes, exhausting -- album, but it's not without its rewards. Somewhere in between the heavy-handed literary allusions, pomp and grand musical metaphors, you'll find some decent atmospheric alt-rock.
Check out the Sebadoh-ish Suppose I Told The Truth, or Radiohead-meets-Floyd brooder Goodnight Europe. Several of the elongated intros are stirringly effective, though considering Aitchison's involvement, that's to be expected; this is a definite score with Mogwai heads. Others should approach with caution.