Wednesday, April 28, 2010

CELESTE - MORTE(S) NEE(S) - A BADASS ALBUM REVIEW




CELESTE - MORTE(S) NEE(S) - A BADASS ALBUM REVIEW
By: DEREK

While CELESTE have been around since 2005, I hadn’t heard of them until very recently. I saw a thread about them on a message board where everyone had good things to say. I went in with no expectations, gave it a download, and damn, I am very impressed. From the first note on this album, I was hooked, and it isn’t until the fifth track that I even realized that I had been sitting there listening for about 20 minutes; it’s that engrossing and comprehensive.

Try to imagine if CULT OF LUNA were a black metal band, and if CONVERGE were a slower, more post rock styled band. Mash those together and you might have a decent enough starting point to pin down CELESTE’s sound. They label themselves “Black Metal/Hardcore/Metal” on their MySpace page, so take that for what it’s worth. I can’t really compare this band to any other band out there, and that’s exactly why they’re awesome. It has been so long since I have heard a legitimate new sound in this style of music, so instead of trying to compare and contrast them with other bands, I’m just going to speak freely on why you should check this album out.

On Morte(s) Nee(s), CELESTE are clearly in complete control of the chaos they’ve created. This music is harsh and grating but not without structure. You won’t find any melody here, but it is ripe in discord which adds a feeling of immense atmosphere to the music. Repetition is the key here, and they just keep pummeling you with dissonant octave riffs until you are lulled into some sort of hypnotized trance. There are many layers to every song, but I never felt lost. There aren’t any verses or choruses on the album, but the songs ebb and flow together and within each other so well that you’re never left sitting there thinking, “What was the point of that song?” This album is cohesive and answers to many metal fans’ objection to the lack of cohesion in today’s scene.

I really like the production of Morte(s) Nee(s). It is clean, but it doesn’t feel polished. I feel like I’m hearing them playing live through a really nice PA and with a great sound engineer. The amps sound natural, without too much compression, and the kick drum slices through the mix to keep you on beat if you ever get lost in a song. The vocals are fierce and scathing in a higher register, with a passion that not many have in their vocal approach. Every member gives a stellar performance, so I’m sure they didn’t rely in any way on some studio magic trickery.

The only complaint I have, if I have to have one, is that most of the songs sound the same. They use the same writing methods and similar notation throughout the album, but it’s all so good. I generally don’t like to listen to just one song when I listen to music, but I put on albums that I want to hear from front to back. This album feels like one long song to me, and I have no problem with that, but if you like variety on your album, there isn’t too much here.

I feel dumb for being so late in the game on CELESTE. They have 4 releases now, and I’ve just heard of them last month. If you are a fan of any style of modern heavy music, I think there is something for you in this album. They aren’t aligned to any set genre, so there really is a lot of crossover potential between many types of musical fans. Do yourself a favor and check this album out. Did I mention it’s free? Head over to their label’s website where you can download or stream Morte(s) Nee(s) and all of their other releases for free, and if you like it enough, they take donations for however much you feel like giving. This is one of the better albums I’ve heard not only this year, but in a long time.


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