Monday, October 18, 2010

Celeste: Morte(s) Nee(s) (2010)


Celeste is a French black metal band (formed in 2005) with some hardcore punk elements. The combination is growing in popularity (see Black Anvil). That seems to perplex people who have followed the scenes for a long time. But it makes perfect sense to me, since both styles traditionally put message over music, resulting in a large number of crappy DIY bands in addition to the greats.

As I've mentioned before, the French metal scene has continued to impress me, and Celeste does not disappoint.

Their sound is, at its most basic, Watain with an industrial guitar tone and sprinklings of The Dillinger Escape Plan discordant weirdness. It never goes quite as wacky as DEP, so each of the songs holds together. It's heavier than black metal usually tends to be, and several tracks (like instrumental "(S)") go at a blackened doom pace for at least part of the song. Others, like opener "Ces Belles de Rêve aux Verres Embués", are much faster.

Despite "Un Miroir pur qui te Rend Misérable" getting repetitive toward the last couple minutes, there is no low point on this album. The most interesting offer is closer "De Sorte que Plus Jamais un Instant ne Soit Magique", a 13 minute progressive affair featuring strings, tempo changes, and lots of great discordant atmosphere.

Other reviewers have said their first two albums are better, so I'll definitely be checking those out as well. And, since their entire catalog is free on their web site (including this one), you can't go wrong.

The Verdict: It reminds me a lot of a black metal version of countryment Eryn Non Dae, especially toward the end of the album, although with more restrained tendencies toward weirdness. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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