There’s no question that Celestial Crown are talented musicians, and Ascending is a wonderfully tight release, but it lacks direction. Celestial Crown draw influence from a great deal of genres, with elements of their style coming from doom, death metal and symphonic metal to name but three, but it doesn’t feel like there is a primary style to the music that you can latch onto. It’s good that Celestial Crown don’t want to tie themselves to one genre alone, but it feels like they’re experimenting with their sound and seeing what may or may not work, rather than creating a piece that has identity.
That’s not to say Ascending is a bad album, because it isn’t, and a particular highlight of the piece is Close Your Eyes, a very atmospheric and almost-haunting song. The spoken and whispered approach to the vocals at the start juxtaposes tremendously against the harsh vocals when they kick in – and a similar approach is taken with the instrumentation, with heavier guitar lines being contrasted against a melodic synth line. The way the instrumentation and vocals echo one another in their approach is quietly stunning.
With a bit of fine-tuning, Celestial Crown have the potential to rise and become a bigger name in the metal scene – and I for one await their next release with great interest.