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Nihiliste(s) (2008), 6/10
Misanthrope(s) (2009), 6.5/10
Morte(s) Nee(s) (2010), 6.5/10
Animale(s) (2013), 5/10
Infidele(s) (2017), 5/10

The French band Celeste, featuring vocalist Johan Girardeau, guitarist Guillaume Rieth and drummer Antoine Royer, debuted with the five-song EP Pessimiste(s) (2006).

Nihiliste(s) (2008) reinvented metalcore at the incandescent border between black metal and screamo hardcore (On pendra les femmes et les enfants en premier) with the occasional doom-metal tempo (A Jamais Denudee). The relentless screaming of Au feu le savoir is a peak of fervor, but, on the other hand, those moments are balanced by elements of post-rock in the convoluted eight-minute Pour maintenir encore une fois la distance and in the stormy repetition of Mais encore faut-il pouvoir renier tout un programme.

Misanthrope(s) (2009) is generally less virulent and more controlled. If Que des yeux vides et seches is all screams and gloomy atmospheres, and Toucher ce vide beant attise ma fascination is buried in an avalanche of guitar noise, and closer Anesthesie vos membres dans une orgie d'enthousiasme is the ultimate hammering nightmare, other songs veer towards a more sophisticated kind of brutality, especially the panzer rhythm and gothic shrieks of Comme pour leurrer les regards et cette odeur de cadavre . The anguished, tortured nine-minute Mais quel plaisir de voir cette tete d'enfant rougir et suer feels like a noisier version of a post-rock suite, and similar instability corrodes A defaut de te jeter sur ta progeniture, whose evil vertigoes are interrupted by a sludge-y interlude and replaced by the stately riffs of the ending. For the demonic peak La gorge ouverte et decharnee there is the doom ballad Une insomnie avec qui tout le monde voudrait baiser: their hell is multi-faceted.

The band's energy is untamed on Morte(s) Nee(s) (2010) with the same formula of black metal and post-hardcore. In fact the album opens with the machine-gun guitar riffs of Ces belles de reve aux verres embues, topped later by the scorching lashes of En troupeau des louves en trompe l'oeil des agneaux, both among their most nefarious songs, and Un miroir pur qui te rend miserable is a senseless wall of screaming. On the other hand (S) is a the soundtrack for a funereal procession in hell and the 13-minute De sorte que plus jamais un instant ne soit magique transforms quickly into a martial requiem-like hymn.

The sprawling rock opera Animale(s) (2013) is an ambitious narrative experiment but also reveals the limitations both in technical skills and in composition skills. Its songs lack cohesion and some of the energy sounds false. Particularly disappointing are the first three songs of the first disc. The nine-minute Dans ta salive, sur sa peau has the changes of tempo and mood of their post-rock compositions but the slow sections sound unrelated to the fast ones. The seven-minute songs D'errances en inimities, Cette silhouete paumee et delabree qui sanglote et meurt and Serres comme son coeur lacere are no less confusing and uninspired. The six-minute instrumental (X) experiments a different way to create a doom and gloom atmosphere: through terrifying guitar repetition. The eight-minute Outro is a funeral fanfare with horns that at least displays a cinematic quality. The album fails to match the intensity of its predecessors and fails to refound their sound on the foundations of these two new ideas.

Infidele(s) (2017), featuring second guitarist Sebastien Ducotte', continues the descent into more intellectual post-metal. The blastbeats sound annoying and trivial, the guitars pause too often and also embrace more traditional metal riffs. The intriguing instrumental (I) is the only moment that sounds neither a bad copy of their old style nor a half-baked attempt at reinventing their sounds. The combination of A la gloire du neant and Sotte sans devenir has perhaps the most effective punches.

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