Celesty - Vendetta
Spinefarm Records
Symphonic Power Metal
11 songs (58:15)
Release year: 2009
Celesty, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Kyle

It’s funny how ones musical tastes change over the years. Back in 2006, when I first started listening to Power Metal, Celesty was one of the first PM bands I discovered and truly enjoyed. At that point in time, I was wanting nothing more than catchy, cheesy Power Metal, and thus Reign Of Elements quickly became one of my favorite albums. When I first came upon them, Celesty had recently released their Mortal Mind Creation album, which I didn’t like particularly well during Winter '06. But this was nearly three years ago, and now what I want out of my Power Metal has changed drastically. My rule used to be that “If it’s blisteringly fast and catchy as hell, then it goes in my Power Metal collection”. However, I became picky over the years, and now an ideal Power Metal album for me is one that is all-around heavy, with intricate and catchy melodies that carry a touch of cheddar, has a few fast and a few mid-paced tracks, and an epic symphonic sound throughout. Mortal Mind Creationalmost fits this description almost perfectly, but ironically I still see It as “Good” at best. It lacks that certain something that makes it a great album. I don’t exactly know what Celesty did with their newest album Vendetta, because it’s not too different from MMC, but whatever they did WORKED. I’m not kidding around, Celesty has gone from being a sub-par Power Metal band to being one of the better ones out there in just one album (That’s 3 years time), and for me, Vendetta is a near-perfect Power Metal record.

Vendetta is Celesty’s fourth album, and their first on Spinefarm Records. I really don’t know what the guys at Spinefarm were thinking; I certainly wouldn’t have signed a band as average as Celesty if I worked for a record label. But apparently they knew what they were doing, because the band has now been polished into an extremely proficient Power Metal outfit that undoubtedly stands tall in the huge throng of PM bands. Vendetta shows a bit of both progression and regression from MMC; they've greatly increased the symphonic sound that was hinted at on their last album, but they've also toned down the overall aggression. Now, their sound is a blend of… It’s like combing elements of… fuck, I don’t even know. There’s several obvious influences throughout the album, ranging from Sonata Arctica to Manowar, but pegging Celesty’s sound as being similar to any one particular band is extremely difficult. I think Sonata Arctica is the main influence here, but once again, the band’s sound is so fresh that it’s hard to explain to someone who’s never heard Vendetta. The same goes for the singer, Antti Railio; he sounds almost like a mixture of Tony Kakko and Jorn Lande, yet at the same time he doesn’t. One thing that is definite, however, is that his voice has VASTLY improved since MMC. Every Celesty album he just gets better and better; He’s gone from sounding like crap on Legacy Of Hate, to sounding decent on Mortal Mind Creation, and now to sounding great on Vendetta. His voice is still a little pitchy, but it’s hardly noticeable (especially when compared to how he sounded on Legacy Of Hate), and I’m expecting even better things from Celesty’s next output.

There are no ballads on Vendetta, but like with Sonata Arctica, the music itself is packed with so much feeling that you don’t need a slow, sappy love song to showcase the emotion. Fallen Leaves (By far the best song on the album), for example, is a song about lost love, although it’s fairly fast and extremely epic/symphonic. Antti Railio’s voice has a very serene, longing quality to it on the intro and the chorus (Officially one of my favorite PM choruses EVER), and the orchestrated melodies alternate from being grand and bombastic to being beautiful and pure. Other songs on the album continue the aggressiveness that was found on MMV, such as Greed And Vanity, Dark Emotions, and the 14 minute epic Legacy Of Hate Pt. 3. Others still rely on pure symphonic bombast and grandeur, including Euphoric Dream and Like Warriors. Another highlight is Lord (Of This Kingdom), which is similar to something Manowar might do. Slow, galloping riffs and aggressive vocals combined with Celesty’s symphonic sound make for a truly epic track that will surely have you headbanging in slow motion.

I could go on and on about how great Vendetta is and break down every track in detail for you, but the only way to experience this album is to listen to it yourself. Celesty has now been set extremely high on my Power Metal radar after releasing a slew of sub-par albums, and though it isn’t perfect (there are a few good-but-not-great tracks), Vendetta is clearly a step in the right direction for these Finnish Power Metallers. Buy it!

Killing Songs :
Euphoric Dream, Greed & Vanity, Fallen Leaves, Lord (Of This Kingdom), Dark Emotions, Legacy Of Hate Pt. 3
Kyle quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Celesty that we have reviewed:
Celesty - Mortal Mind Creation reviewed by Crims and quoted
Celesty - Legacy of Hate reviewed by Jay and quoted 61 / 100
Celesty - Reign of Elements reviewed by Mike and quoted 78 / 100
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