Two dudes walk into a bar…no, seriously…two dudes walk into a bar what what happens? Well, if they’re musicians they’ll likely talk about forming a band. Get two people together who both play music and the conversation will inevitably meander into “We should do something together…”; it’s artistic nature. Anyway, such is the case with Celan, formed after Ari Benjamin Meyers (Redux Orchestra) and Chris Spencer (Unsane) met in a bar in 2008.

The music the two have created here is a complex blend of Neurosis-like darkness (just sped up a bit), Tool-influenced textures and plodding, pounding riff tonnage. There is melody, there is melancholy, and there is rage. Vocally, the band employs an aggressive delivery without crossing over too deeply into Hardcore territory, but there is a deliberate lack of melody. In the midst of the tight, heavy dirges there are bits of melodic atmosphere in the form of keys or clean guitar. There is also a good bit of variety, balancing heavier songs like “A Thousand Charms” and “Weigh Tag” with more somber, atmospheric instrumentals like “Washing Machine” and “Safety Recall Notice”. “Train Of Thought” utilizes a good dose of dialogue samples, blended with white noise and feedback, throughout its chaotic span. This is a band that refuses to be boxed in.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for heavy music that is not neatly cataloged…music that has a defiant, experimental nature, look into this. I would love to see this band catch on and hear how they evolve over time because they are certainly off to a fine start. Fans of Neurosis, Tool, Isis, Pelican, etc will find something substantial. This is the kind of record that people will still be revering and discussing ten years from now and beyond.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shawn Pelata
May 9th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Shane

    Damn, sounds pretty good.

  2. Commented by: bjorn

    Listened to a few tracks and really like this, thanks for the review. Everyone should check this out.

  3. Commented by: Kyle

    Reminds me of an avant-garde version of the Unsane, mostly since I hear so much Chris Spencer in there. Probably due to almost 20 years of Unsane addiction.

  4. Commented by: Redstar

    Tell me the song “one minute” doesn’t remind you of old Helmet “Unsung”.

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