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Celestiial : Celestiial/Blood of the Black Owl split

Two Bindrune labelmates join forces on this 12" split LP, and deliver a fine taste of doom metal from the US vanguard.

Blood of the Black Owl is the project of Chet W. Scott (Ruhr Hunter, The Elemental Chrysalis), where he explores the harsher side of his musical expression. Be that as it may, even in this raw music, mixing raw doom and black metal, Chet incorporates the ambient and folk moods that are the focus of his other music. This makes for a fascinating musical mix, that hasn't found a perfect form of expression yet, however. Like the self-titled debut album, I find this effort by BotBO captivating and promising, but still somewhat lacking in compositional coherence. The blend of metal, folk and ambient sounds isn't seamless everywhere either. All the same, I think this is a good track featuring some gritty, heavy riff parts, and intriguing tribal ambient pieces, also featuring acoustic guitar by James Woodhead (also of The Elemental Chrysalis). Also notable is the somewhat Native American atmosphere in many parts. So, while I'm still waiting for the project to completely convince me - perhaps on the second upcoming album? - here's a fine track to go on until then.

Celestiial is the brainchild of Tanner Anderson (Autumnal Winds), who has also released his debut album on Bindrune, the excelent Desolate North. This new track is another fine example of this man's organic funeralish doom, mixed with more ambient and folk parts. The track starts with a dark ambient bit, mixing drones, field recordings and native american flute. This great threatening mood bursts into action after about 5 minutes, when the bleak funeral crashes begin, carrying that cold but organic sound that is typically Celestiial. This plods on slowly for a while, but is spiced up in the end by an uptempo drum solo. It might sound out of place, but it works great in this context. The track is ended by another atmospheric piece of ambient, this time featuring a short bit of Anderson's excellent harp playing. Another fine track by this project that makes me hunger after more of this stuff. There is a definite improvement going on compared to the debut album, so I'm quite anxious about future releases.

All in all this is a fine release by Bindrune, on 180g black vinyl accompanied by sleeve and insert in tasteful brown artwork. Strictly limited to 500 copies, so get yours while they're there...

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
A. Blood of the Black Owl - "Contemplating the Death of an Old Friend"
B. Celestiial - "White Depths Dove the Red-Eyed"

Duration : 34 minutes

Visit the Celestiial bandpage.

Reviewed on 17-10-2008 by Oscar Strik
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