CELESTIAL BLOODSHED - Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed (DEBEMUR MORTI - CD 2008)
The common opinion says that the best black metal from Norway is the one, which was released in the early 90’s. Well, I agree in most part, but at the same time I must admit that 00’s have brought us also several truly killer and influential black metal releases. Bands like Taake, Urgehal, Throne of Katarsis, 1349, Dødsengel, Koldbrann managed to ablaze the sky in great way as well and I cannot imagine black metal maniacs not paying attention to them. There’s one more name, which I can honestly add to this list and it’s band called Celestial Bloodshed. It is one of the newer bands, as their debut LP “Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed” has been unleashed upon mankind in 2008, so quite late (since then the band also released an album titled “Omega”, before splitting up in 2009, after the leader of the band Steingrim Torson was shot dead), but I am surely impressed by this album.
And it doesn’t matter that “Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed” is walking the well known paths of Norwegian black metal. Originality is not something I would care about. I don’t care also if bands like Gorgoroth, Urgehal, Koldbrann and so on, did similar job on their records and maybe some of them are better than Celestial Bloodshed, nor if they’re more popular and… cult hehe! Who cares. “Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed” offers very well performed and arranged classic black metal and I can’t find anything wrong on this album. I love the production, because it is simply perfect for this kind of black metal, for the harsh and powerful, but no way primitive sound. Then I also like the songs a lot, even if they don’t sound like some shit extravaganza few other Norwegian bands offer and in many aspects the music of Celestial Bloodshed can be called typical and common. But it is still damn good and solid. “Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed” is filled with dark, malignant, cold atmosphere, which is necessary in this sort of music. More so, quite often the music has this misanthropic, sorrowful mood, what I also like. And at the same time there’s a lot of anger, ferocity, viciousness and aggression... Pure carnage and annihilation right in the traditions of Gorgoroth, Darkthrone or Mayhem, played in the simple, almost sort of hypnotizing and maybe slightly monotonous way (which not necessarily must be a negative aspect, if it mean the mesmerizing way), with the same fast pace and one of two fast riffs, hardly with any variation. You can hear it in such anthems like “Truth is Truth, Beyond the God”. Luckily Celestial Bloodshed has also such tracks like “Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed”, which begins with slow, melancholic riff and then transforms into a real black metal beast. And finally one of my favourites, if not the favourite, is “All Praise to Thee” – what a brilliant track! It is almost doomy, filled with slow riff, wailing, harsh vocals in the vein of Attila and sorrowful atmosphere… And the whole album ends with “Demon of Old” and it’s just a fuckin killer, black metal onslaught and devastation.
So, “Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed” will not deliver anything new and extraordinary. It is traditional Scandinavian black metal, but if you’re worshipping Urgehal, Armagedda, Pest, Koldbrann and the old cults, then Celestial Bloodshed is for you. Very recommended to the maniacs.
Standout tracks: “Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed”, “All Praise to Thee”
Final rate: 75/100