Morte(s) Nee(s)

I don’t search for new bands too actively anymore. Years ago, I would download every bad quality mp3 sample, eyeball every site and seize every possibility to hear a new band. I was more than eager to go through a lot of shit to find what I wanted, which considering my modem speed, resulted in nightmarish phone bills…

Nowadays, with every just formed garage band putting out records left and right, weeding out the good has become a task too tedious. Luckily, life’s randomness and word to mouth are quite good at filtering the unnecessary and presenting bands that might actually matter. And via our forums (feel free to join in), I stumbled upon France’s Celeste.

When it comes down to French metal, Alcest and Les Discrets have been in the limelight this year, but unlike their fellow countrymen, Celeste has stripped its sound clean of romanticism. The music featured on the band’s latest slab of nihilism, Morte(s) Nee(s), is much more closer to a bands like Overmars, albeit more relentless and violent in its hardcore influenced outbursts. The pummeling is constant and breathing breaks are rare, as if Strapping Young Lad would have ventured deeper into sludge-country and lost all humor and love for mankind. The instrumental, elaborately named “(S)”, slows things down a bit to give the rhythms a much more lingering and menacing feel… perhaps akin to Gojira. Instead of preaching about the preservation of nature, however, Celeste seem to be more committed to destroying it.

The production isn’t as cold as it is crushing: perfect for maintaining the violent outbursts and attempts at self-restraint. There’s a definite black metal influence on the album, one that stems not from the past, but from the depressed. Morte(s) Nee(s) isn’t an album for every occasion. It doesn’t get you pumped up, riled up and ready to fight. It craves for submission to work out properly.

I wouldn’t call Celeste’s current sound apocalyptic like what I’d say of NeurosisThrough Silver in Blood. The music doesn’t saunter in the horizon like a storm cloud waiting to go off; it doesn’t haunt the listener with impending doom. Morte(s) Nee(s) is more isolated, current. It speaks of here and now as it forces you to embrace its bleak visions. Yet, it is comforting. A good example of this is the 13-minute closure, “De Sorte que Plus Jamais un Instant ne Soit Magique” that starts out with murder and ends in an exhausted catharsis, its weary strings impregnating humanity into the dolor.

And unlike Neurosis’ undeniable classic, Morte(s) Nee(s) isn’t a particularly memorable album in the traditional sense. To me, it doesn’t convey a narrative to follow. Specific moments are lost with time. However, I don’t think it needs to be all that, as every minute is a consuming one. There’s no place for nostalgia. This is not poetry, but a primal tool to harness the darker emotions that we breed ― Morte(s) Nee(s) is a combat drug.

Denovali Records are known to harbor tranquil, stargaze bands that occasionally venture from post-rock deeper into our own oblivion, but brutality hasn’t been a word I would have associated with the label before. With Celeste and Morte(s) Nee(s), I think I need to re-evaluate.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
May 5th, 2010


  1. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    Good review. Love this band.

  2. Commented by: PF

    Any melody?

  3. Commented by: Apollyon

    I wouldn’t consider the album a melodic one at all, so I’d say no, not really. Overall the whole drive relies on punishment, but it isn’t necessarily that chaotic so the album isn’t a hard listen.

  4. Commented by: Apollyon

    Oh, and you can download the album from the label’s website: http://denovali.com/celeste/

  5. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Wow, very oppressive. Thinking it will take some getting used to but I like it.

  6. Commented by: Brandon Duncan

    I love this. A+++

  7. Commented by: Ygg

    Incredibly aggressive!!! One of my favourites!

  8. Commented by: Glyn

    Really good review…I think the comparison to “Through Silver…” is interesting. I agree they’re very different LPs, but both are totally consuming and densely layered – I was totally reminded of my inital reactions to TSIB upon first few listens to this album…initially overwhelmed but then addicted.

    This band is definitely one of my favourites…also very reminiscent in some ways of mid-90’s german metallic HC (Acme, Carol, Systral etc)

  9. Commented by: Don Gallacher

    Just like to thank my mate Glyn(Scrawled) for sending me a link to this-Great stuff1 You have a new fan. A flat broke one at this mmoment,but that’ll change!

  10. Commented by: Don Gallacher

    OH-And pursuant to my earlier post-that means that both Celeste AND Teeth of the Divine have a new fan.
    Don’t want anyone feeling left out!

  11. Commented by: val

    thanks for turning me on to this. one of my favorite new finds. generous of them to give away all their records too.

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