Celestial Grave - Secular Flesh
Iron Bonehead Productions
Black Metal
4 songs (31'20")
Release year: 2019
Reviewed by Alex

Finnish Celestial Grave had only a couple of short releases, but did enough to make me remember the name. To be more precise I enjoyed their demo Burial Ground Trance quite a bit more than the follow-up EP Pvtrefactio. Somehow the fleeting melancholy of the former resonated more with me than the outward anger of the latter. And now we have the first full, yet still short in terms of duration, release Secular Flesh. Which way would Celestial Grave turn?

The first track Lamentation is one of those compositions that makes you think. To me it is a contemplation of what happens when you die. First there is cavernous endless fall. The landing is in some underground place where cosmic winds blow constantly. There is no distinct separate instrument sound, or distinguishing beat, or individual voice. Everything is joined in some perpetual motion which all of a sudden comes to a screeching halt. Isn’t it the sound of life ending, pre-death experience and then sudden expiration? I could be totally wrong guessing what it is Celestial Grave were trying to express, but on one hand it is so cool to speculate, plus I felt positive to have detected a schizophrenic motif. Slower doomier title track with its angry preaching and reverberating bells is also catacombic and suffering. The ending howls take over and punctuate.

If Lamentation is somewhat speculative and subtle, then Gasping from Lips of Night gets more concrete. Sad pronounced unsettling melody with its double bass pounding support made me realize that with its three releases Celestial Grave completed the path from that fleeting melancholy through aforementioned anger to outright depression. Yes, it is despair that rules Secular Flesh and I love how track sequence slowly shapes the consciousness. By Calamitous Love there is no point hiding the obvious, self-wallowing misery fully sets in, and unstable exalted state cannot result in anything but a sad demise. Or, yet again, maybe I am getting it all wrong, but Secular Flesh is an album which welcomes guesswork.

Killing Songs :
Lamentation, Gasping from Lips of Night
Alex quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Celestial Grave that we have reviewed:
Celestial Grave - Pvtrefactio reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Celestial Grave - Burial Ground Trance reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
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