Celestial Grave - Burial Ground Trance
Iron Bonehead Productions
Black Metal
3 songs (14'21")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

I do not have much information on Celestial Grave except a vague black and white picture of the mysterious duo, faces covered by falling hair, and the fact they hail from the Finnish scene. What I was impressed with, however, was their short three track release Burial Ground Trance. While managing to lean strongly on the black metal traditions of their homeland, Celestial Grave managed to show a lot of variety and diapason on their first ever release.

After a short announcement in The Heartbeats Drum guitar riffs take over immediately. Dirty, exalted, exciting, melodic, triumphant and very melancholic, all at the same time, supported by moderate blasting and frequent cymbal crushes, guitars shift slightly after a couple of minutes to a place which is worldwide expansive. Guitars keep on adding layers while the voice of Celestial Grave is pure flagellation, cold wind gusts applied to a slightly moistened skin on a frigid day. Sure, Sargeist comes to mind when I hear The Heartbeats Drum and very melodic title track, but there is more to Celestial Grave than just speedy melancholia or copying the Finnish standard bearers like Horna or Behexen. There is more occult and dark hysteria in the title track, vocals growing to towering heights carried by melodies, while The Bearer of Death takes on a totally different tangent. After a minute long dark procession carried on by a tom and kick drum beating in unison, the composition proceeds at a slower, more monumental speed, guitars working as cloaks to tuck into, only to find no refuge but more darkness. Castanets click on to close The Bearer of Death in a tomblike staccato.

Melodic, filthy and morbid, all at once, Celestial Grave captured a lot of what I think Finnish black metal contributed to the world, yet has a definitive individual face of its own, which actually has more facets than a single one.

Killing Songs :
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