Dario | Nov 15, 2023 | 0
Celeste – Assassine(s)
When I discovered Celeste through their second album “Misanthrope(s)” in 2009, I instantly knew there was something special about these guys. While their blend of black metal and sludge was rather overwhelming in terms of sonic assault, it couldn’t hide the fact that there was a talented bunch at work here, who knew how to write songs and keep the listener’s attention, while spitting out everything that was wrong with this world in the meantime. And all that in French, which is the perfect language for extreme vocals!
Flash forward 13 years. Celeste is still there, with three more great releases in the pocket and only one line-up change with bassist Antoine leaving the band in 2013. Vocalist Johan added the bass to his duties and Sébastien was hired as second guitarist to make Celeste’s massive sound even more dense. Another major change was made for the new album “Assassine(s)”, with the band leaving the innovative Denovali label for Nuclear Blast. What would the impact of such a move be on the band’s sound? Would the band suddenly start playing melodic metalcore?
Fans have no reason to worry: Celeste is still Celeste and the label change has made no impact at all. Still balancing their style between sludge, black, death and post-metal, the devil is in the details and the accents are a bit more in favour of post-metal this time. ‘Des torrents de coups’ kicks off the album in familiar style, with dense riffs, thundering bass, excellent drumming and Johan’s familiar menacing growls. ‘De tes yeux bleus perlés’ takes a more progressive approach, varying between Gojira influenced riffs and atmospheric black metal. This is easily one of their best songs ever and perhaps their most accessible one so far, not to be confused with anything remotely radio friendly.
Celeste – De tes yeux bleus perlés (click here if the video doesn’t play)
One thing that clearly stands out for “Assassine(s)” is the production. The band has never sounded so open, with all instruments clearly defined instead of the typical wall of sound that such bands tend to produce. It makes the album a bit easier to take in than its predecessors without losing any of the heaviness that defines Celeste. It also shows more clearly that there are talented musicians at work here, playing fully in service of the well-crafted songs. Don’t expect any epic solos here, but tight riffwork, a solid backbone and one of the best vocalists in the sludge/post-metal scene will get the job done.
Whether it’s the instrumental ‘(A)’, the atmospheric closer ‘Le coeur noir charbon’ or the heaviness of ‘Elle se répète froidement’, all songs on “Assassine(s)” have their impact and blend together into a modern extreme metal album that deserves to be heard. Not for the faint of heart, but there is a lot to enjoy for those who are up for a journey into the deepest, darkest abyss.
Celeste – Elle se répète froidement (click here if the video doesn’t play)
- Des torrents de coups
- De tes yeux bleus perlés
- Nonchalantes de beauté
- Draguée tout au fond
- Il a tant rêvé d’elles
- Elle se répète froidement
- Le coeur noir charbon