Celestial Son

Saturn's Return

Written by: LF on 28/01/2016 19:01:22

The Danish prog band Celestial Son, formerly known as Drone, have released a sophomore album that mixes their Tool-inspired prog sound with grunge as well as industrial hard rock elements. All this topped by great production makes for a really good-sounding album that manages to sound just like the music is taking us through a strange celestial portal somewhere into places unknown, and it builds well upon their critically acclaimed debut "Doors of Perception". They've released a bunch of music videos in relation to "Saturn's Return" already and notably, one of them has been made by the talented Lasse Hoile who has also worked regularly with Porcupine Tree as well as with Opeth and Dream Theater.

As evident from the very intro of the first song "Nothing in Excess", electronic elements abound across the album in sublime connection with guitars and drums that shape the dark, layered sound that dominates every song. The particular heavy-set and Tool-esque off-beat rhythms and guitar riffs that seem to swirl around the listener are present in many of the songs, not least during the opening of "Holy Cycle" where they first make themselves explicitly noticed. They're also dominating midway through "The Flow of Creation" which is also the only song here to feature vocal samples, in a way that recalls fellow Danish prog band Phoebus Cartel. They share the lyrical themes that seem to turn around questions of the self and of the mind, and "Caress the Soul" for instance provides a memorable melody line with the lyrics: "You make me feel the wars I have inside me / You make me feel the holes I left behind me".

The band's vocalist varies between a hazy singing, dominant for instance in the subtle verses of album highlight "All I Ever Wanted", and a more forceful clean singing that tends to present itself in the choruses of the album, not least in the slowly dragging and majestic "Open Wound". Some songs get a more sinister and also classical sound to them through well-placed piano pieces, like on "The Fortress" or throughout "The Moon". The record generally provides many smaller details in the soundscapes, like the grinding sounds that can be heard during "Sea of Failure" which also presents one of the more instantly memorable melodies here and furthermore features a great solo-like piece towards the end that successfully changes things up.

While the sound the band has forged is intriguing and well-produced, the album itself suffers in part because of its length. It is almost an hour long, and while that in itself is not a problem, the songs that fill it out quickly reuse many of the same notes and moods that we have already heard. This makes it hard to stay with the album throughout, even though some of the later and slower songs are technically just as well-made and have some of the same appealing qualities as the one's that have gone before them. In the end, it is the kind of album that has a few stand out tracks that dominate the others with their more memorable melodies, but it is definitely a recommended listen nonetheless.


Download: Open Wound, Nothing in Excess, All I Ever Wanted
For The Fans Of: Tool, Soen, Soundgarden, Chevelle
Listen: facebook.com/celestialson

Release date 11.09.2015
Target Records

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