CELESTE - Animale(s)

Celeste - Animale(s)

12 songs
69:12 minutes
***** ****


In the past, Celeste from the French city of Lyon were always quite fast in releasing new CDs. Their first three albums came out in one year intervals between 2008 and 2010. Then they decided that they want to take more time to work on their next album. Three years have passed, and now the quartet is back with their longest album to date: Animale(s). While the title is still in line with their previous ones, adding a suffix to a French word, this is the first time Celeste have released a double CD album, even though it would still have easily fitted on a single disc. But then this is a concept story about the relationship between a boy and a girl, and so the specific format probably makes sense.

Otherwise, Celeste are still quite true to themselves, apart that this time they have collaborated on a few tracks with experimental composers Ben Chatwin, Sabrina Duval and Jean Charles Bastion. But frankly, if I hadnít known, I doubt that I would really have noticed. Stylistically the quartet is still in its idiosyncratic brand of black metal, hardcore, post rock and post metal. Donít expect any corpse paint or guitar solos. Instead the band is out to create atmospheric walls of guitars on their usually long songs, and the anguished vocals add the necessary dose of despair. Even the three instrumentals (X), (Y) and Outro (which actually is more of a real song than just a mere outro) fit perfectly well into the overall concept.

The music is dark, penetrating and creates a hypnotic effect with its repetitive patterns. The latter doesnít mean that it is boring. By no means! Animale(s) offers nearly seventy minutes of intensely brutal extreme metal music far beyond what most other genre bands tend to offer. While Celeste name bands like Neurosis, Cult Of Luna and Wolves In The Throne Room as points of reference, I can also think of Deafheaven and Liturgy, two other contemporary black metal bands that strangely enough seem to find more acceptance with the indie crowd than with your typical metalheads.

Animale(s) may not be the work of a band reinventing itself, but it definitely shows the four musicians exploring further their musical vision into a unique blend of heart rendering hardcore and metal territory. Celeste may possibly and even most likely never achieve mainstream success, but I am quite certain that the more distinguished music listener will be delighted by this new and improved slab of metal.

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