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Celestial Crown : Rebirth

Sometimes a little too determinedly eclectic, Celestial Crown's last release is still pretty strong.

'Rebirth' sees Estonia's Celestial Crown, well, reborn with a changed line-up with female vocals now provided by Viktoria Seimar after her long serving predecessor, Diana, left the group. The band embrace an eclectic range of styles to create a frenetic combination of Doom and Black Metal with some moody Gothic flourishes. Clocking in at just under an hour, this fifth full length release is an epic, progressive experience with a lot going on. It features some interesting interplay between the different members of the band both musically, and particularly vocally with frequent switches between clean and growled delivery.

This amalgamation of different styles is immediately apparent on opening track, 'Chaos Reigns Over', which begins dramatically with moody synth effects, quickly morphing into a fearsome blast of Black Metal featuring three different vocal styles: clean, spoken word, and harshly growled male vocals, complimented by some rather beautiful, ethereal work from Viktoria. Throw in a powerful riff and liberal use of Gothic synth effects, and it's an exciting, eclectic opening to the album.

It's when these different elements combine and complement each other that the album is at its progressive best. Possibly never more so than on the excellent 'Awaken' which begins with a classic metal, almost Maidenesque, riff, some intense crashing drums, emotive spoken word vocals and soaring female singing that adds a chilling Gothic flavour. There's certainly a lot going on and it comes together beautifully.

With so much thrown into the musical melting point, there is always a risk that the ingredients won't always blend in the desired fashion. And there are times when it feels like there's a little too much reliance on the growled/clean/female vocal combination, and it leaves one wondering if some tracks would be improved by sticking to one, or even two of these styles. That's not to say that each individual performance viewed in isolation isn't well delivered, it's just that the constant interplay can, on occasion, feel forced. However, these moments are rare, and the combination works more often than not. 'Dark Forest', for instance, is a melodic Gothic treat that shows Celestial Crown at their finest.

In essence, 'Rebirth' is a progressive, eclectic amalgamation of Doom, Black Metal and Gothic Metal that offers a grand, epic soundscape that provides a varied and interesting listen. Although it is occasionally guilty of over-egging the pudding somewhat with the three different styles of vocals, it's still a strong, technically impressive release with a terrific blend of outright ferocity, and dramatic Gothic overtones. Overall, a healthy rebirth of the band with their new line-up that promises more strong material to come from them in the future.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Chaos Reigns Over
2. Consumed By Fire
3. Awaken
4. Beyond The Horizon
5. Collapsed Reality
6. Deep Blue
7. Reflection In A Mirror
8. Dark Forest
9. Gazing Demise

Duration : Approx. 52 minutes

Visit the Celestial Crown bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-12-18 by Nick Harkins
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