The Best Black Metal Album of 2010

CELESTE have forged a powerful gem, capable of penetrating the soul of even the most seasoned black metal fan. It is exquisite, it is “MORTE(S) NEE(S).”

This one caught me by complete surprise last year, mainly due to the fact that I wasn’t looking to find it, or even anything like it. I was content with listening to my sulky and brooding doom/acoustic bands like Agalloch (which is a great band, don’t get the wrong idea) until I clicked a link on a website whose name I can’t seem to recollect.

Immediately I was met with a fiery mallet of sound smashed up against my forehead, sound waves galloping through the air, leaving a stench of unrelenting anger transmuted into superb sound. It was nothing new and at the same time, something completely alien.

I knew straight away that I would be listening to this record aplenty in the future, if not for the instant gratification that comes from hitting the play button. The group’s sound is uniquely possessing and full of emotion – only one emotion, but that emotion is explored very interestingly.

Sure, it might not be original to make angry music; in fact, angry music has been in constant supply for decades now, but the demand doesn’t seem to die down. It’s good to evolve, even if the evolution is linear and minute.

I can’t help but be a glutton for ‘underground’ music. The idea of a group of musicians (or in some cases, musician) allying to compose something they feel extraordinarily proud of, free from influence of wealth just excites me.

I sit here and I allow the finesse of instrumental imprecision and savagely raw vocals secrete an auditory aroma that reflects this ideology – naïvety and all, which makes it all the more beautiful in a way.

By now I must sound like a fervently devout follower of the band, but there are solid imperfections in the record. The aforementioned bit about the group’s naïvety adding onto their celestial quality does still ring very true; innovation in the genre is defined by lack of experience.

Musical assumptions that never had the time to manifest are left ignored as a result – only outside influence from this inexperience affect the outcome of their music. In this case, the influence is ‘classical’ black metal meets modern hardcore – branching heavily from punk rock like most hardcore does. The result is a sound that tramples everything in its path, but possibly a bit too recklessly.

Deficiencies aside, CELESTE have designed ‘MORTE(S) NEE(S)’ to emit a bellowing, uncompromisingly roar as constantly as possible. It is a truly precious gem of roughly cut diamond that bears the burden of obscurity.

While it’s too soon to tell whether I would hold the Frenchmen with as much prestige as more disciplined acts, I won’t be able to ignore them. Their sound is just too commanding to overlook.

All of this, completely free, courtesy of the band.

Leave a Comment