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Celestial Crown
Invasion Of Suicidal Angels

These are strange times...
With certain bands becoming big, and signing to major labels, smaller, underground bands form in the vein of those bands. Nothing strange or new so far. But only seldom it happens that those young bands seem to be so talented that they are not at all satisfied with the standards set by their idols and simply pass them by.

Once upon a time, Cradle of Filth were a band that released small pearls like 'The Principle of Evil Made Flesh', 'Vempire' or 'Dusk... and her Embrace'. After that, their sound changed, their line up changed (for better or for worse...) and they changed labels too. Sony was the last I heard, right?

Luckily there are bands who pick up the ruins left behind by this kind of bands, add some influences left and right, and change it into a massive thing. Celestial Crown is one of those bands. They made the album that should have followed after 'Dusk...'. If Dani is ever in some need of new musicians, he should fire them all and move to Estonia!

Lyricwise, Celestial Crown explores the dark-romantic realms, with touches of vampyrism ('Trapped in the Dark') and religion ('Under the Black Sun' and my personal fave 'Holy Waters'). Musicwise, they opt for a bombastic black metal sound, with very diverse vocals. Female vocalist Diana ensures a blessing touch of gothic influences, while DeVol tries his very best to impress everyone with a wide variety on vocal ranges: screams, (excellent) grunts, parlandoparts... Although the core of the music is in the bombastic, keyboard supported black metal, tempo variances give hints towards other subgenres of the metal spectrum too. The combination of slow pace and deep grunts in 'Trapped in the Dark' hint to doom, whereas multilayered keyboard parts in other tracks add atmospheric, dark connections.

A nice word is also to be said on the excellent sound engineering of this album. Only very seldom have I heard demo albums with a heavy, crunchy sound, matching an expensive studio production. There has obviously been a lot of hard working on the songwriting too (or the guys in Celestial Crown must be real natural talents) but there is still some room left for progression there. A little more working out of ideas within a song, could maybe improve the quality of the material a little more.

Which leaves me but one conclusion: This bunch of talented people should be brought under the supporting wings of an understanding and constructive label. Celestial Crown could be a band we will hear about in the very near future. Keep up with the good work, lads.

Reviewed by Heiko

Author: Heiko

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