The End Times have hung heavy in the pop-cultural consciousness since the bomb landed on Hiroshima. From the sign-waving sociopath to the bad-news-bearing doomsday clock, the lingering sense of dread in the comic classic Watchmen is a chilling reminder of the Cold War's constant threat of Armageddon.

The End Times have hung heavy in the pop-cultural consciousness since the bomb landed on Hiroshima. From the sign-waving sociopath to the bad-news-bearing doomsday clock, the lingering sense of dread in the comic classic Watchmen is a chilling reminder of the Cold War's constant threat of Armageddon.

But even after the Berlin Wall came down, our society has remained fixated on the world coming to an end.

Ten years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the apocalyptic thriller End of Days. In 2006, Al Gore trumpeted mankind's upcoming extinction in An Inconvenient Truth. To this day people breathlessly wonder what will happen when the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012.

So a band that dubs its music "endtime ballads" seems particularly suited to our era. And Crippled Black Phoenix is just such a band.

The U.K.-based collective, featuring members of Mogwai and Electric Wizard, among others, dabbles in the same apocalyptic subject matter that characterized bands like Godspeed You Black Emperor.

On the new album 200 Tons of Bad Luck, Crippled Black Phoenix's tunes range from dark, foreboding soundscapes to downtrodden prog anthems - always epic, always grim.

Sometimes, like the handicapped bird in the band's name, these lurching death hymns struggle to get off the ground. But the deeper you dig into the 77-minute monstrosity, the more good ideas you'll encounter.

Columbus band Brainbow is the perfect pick to open for these guys. Ascent of Everest will perform as well.