Caelestia
Beneath Abyss

When listening to the debut from Greece’s Caelestia I’m reminded of a release I covered earlier this year; Dysrider’s Bury the Omen . Big, polished, modern take on melodic death metal, both using operatic female and gruff male vocals and both heavy on the synths and orchestration.

Where Caelestia add something is a more Gothic metal vibe with the presence of Dimitra Vintsou, a far more operatic/soprano female vocal presence. But not in a good way,  as with Dysrider’s Joelle Graz, despite having some pipes, to these ears she is a little too heavily accented. But Graz grew on me where, Vintsou  unfortunately has not, being more and nasally and off key more often than not, making the interplay with Nikos Palivos’s gruff growls and shouts not quite as enjoyable as it could be. Which is a shame as I’m usually a sucker for beauty and the beast vocal duality.

Other than that minor quibble everything else is in place for an ‘OK’ melodeath record. Big crunchy guitars, galloping riffs, a few blasts, heavy use of synths and a general competence within the paradigms of the genre. If you can get around Vintsou’s singing there is a lot to like, and when she’s more lightly as a backdrop or layered with the male vocals (“The Grand Sublimation”, “Blessing of Tragedy”), it’s a pleasant angelic hue, but when shes used to carry a song or  chorus, I cringe a little. Just listen to “Gate of Shadows”, “Mi Ultima Vida”, “Secret Rite” or the title track.

“Lake of Decay” and “The Rise of the Hidden Nature” close out the album and at this point its equal Vintsou and Palivos and the songs start to get a bit stale, so while the album has it’s OK moments and certainly checks the boxes for the genre, it’s clear these guys have some development to make  and I’ll keep going back to the Dysrider record to get my fill of the style.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 4th, 2016

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