As usual, I am way late to the game when it comes to certain artist but I will be damned if I don't give them their dues. This week we have the hellenic black metal artist known as Celtefog. Forged by Archon himself, this project is daunting and monstrous, like a great titan of old. We venture this time to the Outlands.
There may only be five tracks yet these pieces are absolutely astounding. Kicking things off with the over ten minute long first track, The White Fjord. Slow building, and a tad over two minutes before it even begins to grow, this track builds into an absolute maelstrom. The pacing, creativity, and atmosphere created along the way will hook you and lull you setting the mood for what lies in wait. Next we have Natur (Nature) and with it begins a familiar recording voice I have heard before. The first time I came across this usage was in Fates Warning's Disconnected Part II (a killer track for atmosphere and the Pleasant Shades of Gray album is awesome). Natur then explodes with life, wailing and crashing a while before getting into a resonating and captivating part from 5:22-6:42 that is so delicious. However, at the 8 minute mark, like clockwork, the growl and spoken part kicks in with slick guitar work and female vocals molded in as well. It is overwhelming in the best way possible and awesome to believe how this worked out so well. Up On The Hills is third track chiming in with bells and thunder before a diablo-esque guitar begins taking me back to Tristram all those years ago. And just like the descent into hidden madness that game offered, Up On The Hills is a wild ride full of misery and sorrow, chillingly beautiful. Another sweet span from 3:40-6:18 before a stellar ending that will leave you crushed. Following next, fourth in line, we have To The Celtic Lands. Some of my favorite guitar work on this album lay in this track as well as the lyrics are gripping and grim with a journey that leads toward redemption and renewal in the old ways. Listen beginning to end with the words to really get the feeling. And now, last, and most importantly, 279 BC. This is a track that caught me by surprise. We are lured by the sounds of the sea and the birds and a humming guitar in wait. Yet, as it progresses the instrumental work within swells into a phenomenal track. Though it seems sparse on lyrics, I discovered within the music video (below) some extra bits that really set the stage. It was the nail in the coffin for me to add it to my collection because I was enthralled by the brilliance of this track. Play the video, crank up the volume, and let Celtefog envelope you.
So, Outlands comes with high praise and this is just the tip of the iceberg really. I have been weeding through the other albums (yeah, I bought them all) to find what other wonders I may have been missing. I am certain I will find so much more given time however for you, for this week, much needed, we look to the Outlands. No matter the hardships we endure there can be a new dawn for each of us should we have the energy and resolve to face the challenge. /,,/
THE MAD BARRON
The Source Of The Metal