Celestia - Frigidiis ApotheosiA: AbstinenciA GenesiiS
Paragon Records
Melancholic Black Metal
8 songs (44'17")
Release year: 2008
Paragon Records
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

When I first heard Celestia’s reissue of the acclaimed underground standout Apparitia – Sumptuous Spectre I certainly had to pay homage to the conviction and talent shown, but held out until the announced upcoming full-length Frigidiis ApotheosiA was released to delve into the band completely. The changes are very much afoot going from 2002 (albeit re-released with the proper mix in 2007) Apparitia to the way the world looks to one Sir Noktu Geiistmortt in 2008 on Frigidiis ApotheosiA.

Despite both albums being about the unfortunate, failing and tormenting side of romance, they approach the idea from slightly different musical angles. On Apparitia the ultrafast tremolo riffs are flying by with the post-Darkthrone melodic glee. The feeling of trance will be blasted into you, whether you are ready for it or not, saturating the ears with ode-of-joy Alcestian melodies.

Several years later Noktu is still searching with his meandering loopy melodies amidst periodic blasting and distortion. Much improved sound quality and production aside, I venture to say, the mood has taken a downturn for more somber. The droning riffs of A Plaintive Cry Merely Echo are rather savage and A Regrettable Misinterpretation of Mournfulness takes on a very determined march, almost treading on the brink of old school Finnish/Swedish death metal without their guttural malevolence. Speaking of “brinks”, however, the most important one is where Noktu stands all along, the brink of desperation. With Frigidiis ApotheosiA he is one hopeless idealist, whose dreams are fading fast with no hope of coming back. In this romantic department a great find are the twangy acoustic strumming, overlayed loud and clear atop the fuzzy tremolo background in Admirable Eros Abstraction and a Venetian melody opening of A Regrettable Representation of Mournfulness. This is some of the best use of clean guitar from the French BM underground. Even when the platter tends to become a little more standard (Death of the Lizard Queen, Morbid Romance), black metal gallops eventually give way to eccentric demented sections and melodies centered somewhere between Nachtmystium’s Demise and German classical music. No romantic album can be without a waltz and The Seed of Negation provides a black metal interpretation of the classic rhythm. The story ends tragically with the title track, but innovations/desperation fade a little in intensity towards the end.

Noktu vocals throughout the album spill passionately, his supervomitous voice pushed a lot further in front than on Apparitia. His expression can be called Filthian in tone, but Cradle only wishes they can reach the level of sincerity Celestia has in volumes. And no theatricality is needed either. Somehow, Celestia today reminds me of not heard from in a long while (split-up?) Finnish dark band Thy Serpent, especially their earlier Forests of Witchery days. Not every note has to be blazing fast, but the feeling of melancholy and depression is inescapable and, most importantly, painfully honest, as if experienced by the songwriter and the listener simultaneously, in one unison, the one you wish could be broken, so you can escape to better, more forgiving reality.

As a further proof of dedication to his craft, the packaging for Frigidiis ApotheosiA is also a non-standard affair. Silvery ink slipcase with UV lacquer applied over the pictures and 20 page booklet make the album a stylish and chic piece of art.

Killing Songs :
Admirable Eros Abstraction, A Regrettable Misinterpretation of Mournfulness
Alex quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Celestia that we have reviewed:
Celestia - Archaenae Perfectii reviewed by Alex and quoted 78 / 100
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