Release DetailsLABEL Moribund Records
RELEASED ON 6/10/2008
Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed
posted on 8/2008 By:
The aptly-titled "Intro" sets a dark mood for Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed with the sounds of chains dragging across stone, cavernous breaths and off-key acoustic picking. Yawn. For as important as mood and atmosphere seem to Celestial Bloodshed on their first full-length, it's a rather weak and ineffective introduction, and it serves as a good example of how this album falls short: Done well, but without originality, and dragged out far longer than it should for the effect ringing as hollow as it does.
From the intro, we're pulled into the mid-paced "Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed" a seven minute song that could easily be three. It changes gears a few times, but it's almost hard to tell because Steingrim Torson's one-note scream, while loaded with pain and hate, just doesn't elevate the track beyond the simple repetition that quickly gets tiresome. Celestial Bloodshed hail from Trondheim, Norway but they sound Swedish, like a combination of Marduk, Watain (the repetitive riff-oriented and straightforward approach) and Shining (the focus on atmosphere and melody) if those stellar acts decided to get together and make something mediocre and boring. "Sign of the Zodiac" starts off as a promising Watain-esque cut before it ends and you realize the band never did anything with the promise. "Truth Is Truth, Beyond The God" is guilty of the same charge. Repetition works when the mood is right and the riff is sweet enough, but Celestial Bloodshed, I think, lack the atmospheric skill to justify their indulgent tendencies.
Their playing is loose and the goal is clearly power over precision (see the opening onslaught of "All Praise To Thee") which sometimes pays off. They keep "Gospel Of Hate" to a short 1:32 and it works just fine. But because it carries an almost punk rock sense of urgency that the rest of the album misses in its drawn-out excursions of mid-tempo black metal, it also clashes with the album as a whole. I'd rather have a unified whole of an album that I felt was just alright than a scattershot album with one or two great songs that disrupt the flow.
They end on a high note with "Demon Of Old", probably the most effective of the tracks here, but again nothing spectacular and at almost seven minutes, still a few minutes too long for its own good. Celestial Bloodshed have turned in a decent debut, but nothing remarkable or especially interesting. There's plenty of black metal coming out now for you to live a perfectly happy life avoiding average and old-hat albums like Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed, which I recommend you do.
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