Celestia: Archaenae Perfectii

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Celestia: Archaenae Perfectii
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Celestia: Archaenae Perfectii
Black Metal
ATMF Records
April 6th, 2010
Release length: 33:22
Myspace
Celestia has been a busy band since forming back in 1995, but it wasn’t until 2002 that the band actually released their first full-length album. Archaenae Perfectii marks the band’s third full-length effort, and it is chock full of emotional French Black Metal atmosphere. Many fans of the French Black Metal movement would know who this band is due to their countless demo and Split releases, but for many this band has been in the underground shadow for far too long. If that is the case for you, then Celestia will more then likely surprise you in many ways.

One thing that is notable with this release is that there are many who believe that the sound quality to a Black Metal album simply needs to be raw in order to capture the proper ambience or atmosphere, but in the case of Archaenae Perfectii, as well as many other bands of this style heralding from France, that is not the case. The production quality of for Archaenae Perfectii is actually quite impressive and very clear, but nowhere near a spotless shine. The impact this production has is actually rather nice and still gives it the proper atmospheric haunting traits through the music, which is where it really where it matters. The guitar work on this effort finds itself more on the traditional atmospheric Black Metal wave without much of a huge distinction present between the two, but there are still plenty of moments on the release that stand out, such as the openning instrumental section of “Grandiohsia Obverturae/Vue Du Ciel”, as well as the closing haunting guitars of “Demhiurghic Deity (Devilution)”. It’s these moments that really make Celestia stand out.

While these moments really do make you take notice of the band, there are times where it can wind up being just a little boring. Take the song “Dogmatii Duality/Au Crepuscule Sous Les Larmes” for example. This track is a much slower song that relies on simpler guitars, which are great, but it will quickly start growing dull since the guitars and drums that start it aren’t too spectacular and just stay that way until about two and a half minutes in when the music slows and goes into a sample of rain falling. On top of that, the track “Grandiohsia Obverturae/Vue Du Ciel” winds up feeling like an incomplete song. The way the track is set up, the first three minutes is an acoustic introduction to the track before a few seconds of silence kicks into the actual song, which is another slower paced track that, by the end, feels like it just never really led anywhere.

There’s also plenty of acoustic moments scattered about the release that seem to have a distortion added to them that give off a feeling like you’re listening to it from an old tape, like it may have been from a recently remastered black and white horror film but couldn’t eliminate all the grain. It’s not bad and often becomes the most atmospheric aspect of the release. Aside the openning acoustic instrumental on “Grandiohsia Obverturae/Vue Du Ciel”, it also appears throughout on various tracks, as well as on “ArcheArcanae Des Parfaits”, which is a simple instrumental track on it’s own. It would have been nicer to have this track close out the album, or at least an acoustic instrumental period since the album starts out with one. “Nuit Qui Brille Comme Soleil” follows suit with the first track of the album by having an acoustic start to the song, then go into a regular song that feels a little faster then many of the songs on here. These moments are nice and act as a more unplugged version of some of the slower material that the band plays on the album, so they fit nicely into the mix, which is good, but some faster material like on the latter portion of “Nuit Qui Brille Comme Soleil” would have been nice too.

Either way though, given the albums faults, it’s still a solid Metal effort that is highly enjoyable. The song itself may not be one of the most atmospheric entries into the style or country of origin, but it does have many perks to it including some great musical compositions and a nice steady flow from start to finish. Archaenae Perfectii makes a nice entry into the Black Metal scene as a whole and is worth checking out if you get the chance, but make sure you have some time to sit down with the release when you first put it in. The compositions on this album aren’t the greatest alive, and may take some time to become accustomed to, but when you do, it will all be worth it.

01. Grandiohsia Obverturae/Vue Du Ciel – 6:23
02. Demhiurghic Deity (Devilution) – 3:38
03. Phoenemenae of Creation – 4:29
04. Dogmatii Duality/Au Crepuscule Sous Les Larmes – 4:09
05. Dominus Crux Spiritus – 4:43
06. ArcheArcanae Des Parfaits – 1:30
07. Perfectii Ketlet Katharos – 4:24
08. Nuit Qui Brille Comme Soleil – 3:52
Overall Score: 7/10
Celestia (Band)
Celestia (Logo)
Digital review copy of this release provided by ATMF Records.