Monday, 2 June 2014

Celebration - Performers My Soul

CELEBRATION - Performers My Soul (BLACK FOX - CD 2014)
We live in times, when record labels take a part in rat race; they want to exhume more and more of old recordings, from the 80’s and 90’s, digging them out of the graves, giving them the second life, reminding us some forgotten bands… A lot of old demos, EPs, even full length albums have been re-released on CDs or LPs. And here’s another such relict of the past. The band is called Celebration and they’re from Bialystok, Poland. Well, unlike such cults as Betrayer, Hazael, Ghost, Violent Dirge or Armagedon – which back in the early 90’s belonged to my true favourites – my attitude towards Celebration is less personal, enthusiastic and important, since they never belonged to my favourite acts. Sure, I know their “Dead Bodies Massacre” demo from 1991 a little, but it just has never been one of those truly killer and influential materials. I just consider Celebration to be one of those more mediocre bands, really… Sure, they have a part in the Polish death metal history, but they have never been so well known and worshipped as for example the bands, which I mentioned above. “Dead Bodies Massacre” demo is a cassette, which today sounds just too archaic and not deadly and powerful enough, to my ears. But here is a CD of the third Celebration demo titled “Performers My Soul”, released by Black Fox Records. And the story behind it is quite interesting… the music for it was recorded back in 1991, but it (the recording session) never has been finished and thus the demo was never released, up to this day. The interesting thing is that the vocals for it were recorded in January 2008 and later the whole demo was mixed and mastered between 2008 and 2013. So the whole work on the demo was long and complicated, but finally we can listen the finished product. And even if I’m not the biggest fan of “Dead Bodies Massacre” demo, I was then quite curious what “Perfomers…” sounds like…
First I must say that the production of “Performers My Soul” is something what may give a headache to some listeners. It is not bad, really, so away from the modern sounding albums, but it is quite harsh, especially the guitar crackles like on the old vinyl hehe. But it lacks something… I’m afraid that even if the material is solid, then sometimes you loose its feeling, because of the whole production, so if the sound was better then the whole demo would kick ass more effectively. Anyway, I’m not going to moan about it, knowing it was recorded over 20 years ago, so what else can we really expect, right? Generally I think that “Performers My Soul” has some good moments, as well as some which I’m little less fond with. Celebration with this material won’t join my top 10 best Polish death metal bands ever, but surely they have created a material, which is better than “Dead Bodies Massacre” and is decent enough to give an occasional listen. Death metal by Celebration is quite slow, it has quite few almost doomy moments, it’s also quite simple, so it’s something what today we would call “total archaic old school death metal”, what obviously it is. And at the same time it’s not, because how can we call “old school” something what actually was recorded over 20 years ago? It makes no sense he!
Anyway, taking aside the problems with the production, the material itself is not bad, as I already wrote, and it has some good moments. Celebration surely did progress in good direction after “Dead Bodies Massacre”, playing something similar to the demo days Gorefest, as well as many Polish death metal bands from the early 90’s like Thanatos, Anathemized or Ghost. There are quite few truly great moments like the whole opening motif of “Black Thing”, which sounds so damn heavy! I also like “Venom Voices”, especially that chorus part, with really cool sounding vocals. I do realise that many of you will say that “Performers My Soul” has grown old rather badly, that it is very coarse and that there are many just better old demos to be found around… And maybe some of it is right, but it’s also a matter of everyone’s taste. Personally as I mentioned Celebration may not be the best thing I have ever heard, but I still quite like “Performers My Soul” and the demo has this charm of early death metal demos, which today a lot of bands is trying to recapture, but only very few succeed.  And surely if you like to collect such old death metal materials, then “Performers My Soul” will be a good offer for you. Mind though that the CD is limited to barely 300 copies, so you better hurry, otherwise you may miss your chance.
Final rate: 69/100

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