(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Desolate North (2006), 7/10
Where Life Springs Eternal (2010), 6/10

Minnesota's Celestiial added a new dimension to slow and glacial doom-metal by pouring natural sounds and the timbres of ancestral instruments (Celtic harp and Native-American flute) on the delightful Desolate North (2006 - Handmade Birds, 2011). The protagonists of the nine-minute Haunting Cries Beneath The Lake Where Our Queen Once Walked are not the very slow and dumb drumbeats but the lifeforms that inhabit its vast empty space: the human growls, howls and vomits of the beginning and the natural sounds of the jungle of the ending. The eleven-minute Lamentations In The Citadel Of God drowns in loud wind-like hissing and hypnotic letargic strumming while fantastic animals growl and chirp in the distance. Thule evokes desolate nordic landscapes (very loud distorted hiss) roamed by mythological beasts (very dilated vocal sounds). The droning instruments sculpt the otherworldly atmosphere in Waldlander Im Herbst before screams rip it apart. The album closes with the brief pastoral Ashen, a ray of sunshine in a world of gloom and doom.

Alas, Where Life Springs Eternal (Bindrune, 2010) was mainly the vehicle for one very long piece. Celestiial reached new psychological heights in the 31-minute Great Storms Carry My Sadness. The whole poem takes place in a rainstorm. The first part is propelled by an anthemic distorted modulated guitar drone a` la Velvet Underground and indulges in a crescendo of spasmodic screams. At 13:42 the music stops, leaving the rain as the only sound. Then the second (wildly inferior) part takes over, a nerve-wracking lied for zombie calls at funereal pace. The rest was mostly filler, notably the aimless 17-minute Offering In Cedar Smoke. The sheer chaotic noise of Spell Over Still Water was at least unexpected, but hardly revolutionary.

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(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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