Review – Celestial Grave: Pvtrefactio

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  • Bio: "Insatiable lust for dead flesh, ardent fantasies of torned breast." - Facebook
  • Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
  • Release Date: April 21st, 2017
  • Genre: Black Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Celestial Grave is yet another nameless entry into the underground world of black metal. The two-piece act from Finland first made their presence known with their 2016 demo Burial Ground Trance, which was issued by Iron Bonehead Productions, the label handling their follow-up two-track seven-inch EP Pvtrefactio due later this month. But is there anything substantial lurking within that vinyl, or is it just another typical entry you won’t soon remember?

Celestial GraveUnlike many that came before, Pvtrefactio has a much cleaner approach to its analog output. This sounds like it was recorded at a good studio and mastered with a nineties quality in mind. The drums do kind of mesh together a bit, but the guitars range from a high pitch sharpness and duller atmospheric sound that greatly stands out in the mix alongside the subtle pulsing bass guitar (which really could have been beefier to bulk up the mix as a whole) and raspy vocals that often sound torn from a later Immortal album. One listen and it becomes clear that a lot of care was put into this one, immediately earning your respect despite the few faults outlined.

But you wouldn’t really expect any of that at the start of “Deteriorating Angel” with the ear-piercing pitch of the guitars and standard black metal material that makes up the first fifty seconds. Thankfully, by the time you put your headphones you launched across the room from being startled so badly back on, you are met with some depressing leads and a multi-layer vocal presence that helps capture the sensation of loss. If given a chance, the richest parts of the performance can drag you into the funeral home to pay your last respects once more, a tone the band seems to really focus on and achieve with the greatest of ease.

“Pvterefactio” takes a good while to get started, but once you make it past the minute-and-a-half introductory ambience you are greeted with conflicting emotions. What feels like a nordic memorial quickly thrusts you into some thrash heavy riffs in the vein of Goatwhore, rich with battle ready fury and remorse. It’s a stark contrast to the prior performance, but one that does show a good deal of dexterity for this two-piece entity.

Pvtrefactio may have some standard black metal traits to it, but it’s the atmosphere the duo seem to effortlessly weave together that makes this seven-inch release pop its head above the water. There is great care felt with every passage, as evidenced by the audio itself not being yet another raw release because that’s the in thing for the style at the moment. Celestial Grave stand firmly as a nice breath of fresh air fans of the genre will immediately take notice of after just one spin with this brand new offering.

Celestial GraveDigital review copy of this release provided by Iron Bonehead Productions.