Celestia - Archaenae Perfectii
Apparitia Recordings
Romantic Black Metal
8 songs (33'22")
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Alex

Continuing with this week’s theme of one-man black metal entities, French Celestia fits right in. Long the project of an individualist known as Noktu, the latest album Archaenae Perfectii shows that while Latin tinged titles will remain a staple of Celestia, Noktu feels free to express his melancholy in the ways he sees fit.

Criticized or praised, depending on your personal point of view, for the romantic gothic slant of Frigidiis Apotheosia, Noktu has made his glum less grey and more black-and-white on Archaenae Perfectii. From here on out, you can make your choice if you like your salad tossed with all vegetables piled into one mix, or served separately. While Frigidiis Apotheosia was unfolding with mid-paced rocking melodic tunes, Archaenae Perfectii has a much more delineated separation between its distinctly quiet reserved and outwardly blackish constituents.

At any moment Noktu can either lead in for half of the composition with the above-the-world Alcestian acoustic strum (Grandiohsia Obverturae / Vue Du Ciel) before delving into the darker arts or, on the opposite, stop the wild Latin screaming in Dominus Crux Spiritus to fade out into the acoustic oblivion. Demhiurghic Deity (Devilution) is pretty much a take on the black’n’roll Celestia style, while short instrumental ArcheArcanae Des Parfaits has none of the nastiness and bestiality. In his usual yearning for tunefulness, the now grittier tremolo is filled with melodies in abundance, whether pride can be felt underneath in Dogmatii Duality / Au Crepuscule Sous Les Larmes or tragic notes take over towards the end of Perfectii Ketter Katharos. Awash with those remorseful tear-jerking ear-bleeding melodies or having more gnashing stance, Noktu still insists on delivering his vocal attack in over-the-top, squeezed throat, gurgling, vomitous voice. To some, it will serve as a further validation of Celestia residing on the blacker side of things, while Archaenae Perfectii is trying to move there anyway. While it is true that vampires tend to exhale horrible shrieks, a more reserved style would not diminish Celestia in my eyes.

Not moving much away from the days of Apparitia and Frigidiis Apotheosia, but with much better production these days, Noktu can be counted on delivering music very much in tune with the dark cloaked figure of the Archaenae Perfectii cover art. Suitable to be shared with your black nailpolish painted gothic girlfriend, this album does have moments where the aforementioned girlfriend is sacrificed to the egocentric nail-spiked darker character.

Killing Songs :
Grandiohsia Obverturae / Vue Du Ciel. Phoenemenae of Creation, Dogmatii Duality / Au Crepuscule Sous Les Larmes
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Celestia that we have reviewed:
Celestia - Frigidiis ApotheosiA: AbstinenciA GenesiiS reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
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