Written by: PP on 19/06/2009 20:12:06

Celeste are a progressive post-hardcore/doom-hardcore (yes I just made that up) band originating from France, who seem to have a fetish for brackets and s letters behind their releases. They've got EP "Pessimiste(s)", the slightly darker debut album "Nihiliste(s)", and now their most blackened effort to date, "Misanthrope(s)", which incidentally is also their fullest, richest recording to date.

I've noticed some Satyricon references in my re-search, but since I don't know the band I'm going to focus on the element that's anyway taking up the biggest share in Celeste's music: dark, heavy breed of post-hardcore. For immediate reference points on just how Celeste sound, you could think of the Japanese tremolo-shredders Envy and their screamo soundscapes, with a tiny bit of Kaospilot's intense expression in the mix as well. But Celeste takes it a bit further than these bands, as their brand of metallic post-hardcore is far heavier and more claustrophobic in expression; where Envy relies on colossal soundscapes and prolonged screams, Celeste's expression is tight, intense and confined - the vocalist's screams give the picture that he has just fallen into a well, realizing that he won't be discovered anytime soon. He sounds desperate, but angry. Brutal, but yet so melodic.

Most of the material is delivered at a slow or a medium-slow pace, where the aforementioned doom-hardcore references comes from. That's probably why there are many doom metallers who find Celeste's expression so intriguing: it's so painstakingly slow and surrounded by misery and judgment day type inevitability that the fans of the genre will find many similarities to their favorite bands. I've also heard Celeste being compared to a lot of black metal but honestly they lack the required shrieking and the tremolo-shredding to make me accept them as black metal. Just the general atmosphere--the one that's blackened and full of desperation--doesn't make them part black metal in my opinion. In any case, that's an insignificant detail in the big picture, which follows here: Celeste have mastered the art of playing claustrophobic post-hardcore, where intensity, bleakness and chaos are all combined to create one extremely solid wall of sound.


Download: Toucher ce vide béant attise ma fascination
For the fans of: Envy, Satyricon, Kaospilot
Listen: Myspace

Release date April 2009
Denovali Records

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