Celan is an intriguing collection of musicians that is comprised of members of Unsane, Oxbow, Einsturzende Neubauten, and others. Just reading the list of collaborators and knowing their other work definitely forces individuals to take notice as well as wonder at the possibilities of just what this particular effort might be capable of creating. Halo is the debut album from Celan and serves as a monstrous introduction for the project, and considering where the bands collective members ply their talents normally, my expectations for this are mixed in the sense that this could be one of the noisier albums to drop in a while.
The industrial sounds of Safety Recall Notice and the creepy children singing in the beginning of A Thousand Charms might be a purposeful curveball for the listener because when Celan does start playing, the tense picking of the verse and the groove blessed chorus give more of a rock vibe than anything that people may be thinking that this will sound like (I know that I was taken aback). Even though much of Halo continues this motif or musical modus operandi, the subtle creeping of the sounds from the members other bands finds its way into the picture. They are there from the beginning, just in a different mode and or interpretation of what they normally do, and this makes what Celan is and the music on Halo that much more impressive. Angular and noisy guitars combine with some interesting electronic (check Weigh Tag) and keyboard (particularly All This and Everything) sounds and a measured but powerful rhythm section to make one hell of a rock band, and the straining lead vocals work well with the occasional screams for accents. As strange as it sounds, my favorite track on Halo is the quiet and soothing Washing Machine; Lunchbox (the albums closer) is also one that I find myself drawn to listen to more than other songs because of its introspective piano part.
Celan is definitely a creature of its own devices that is well different from its various predecessors, and, with Halo turn out one of the more interesting records this year. Maybe the one thing that Halo lacks though, is a song with a killer hook, that one that just forces listeners to revisit it over and over again. But if that is the only real complaint, Celan still have a good record for people to listen to and enjoy. Check this out; I am sure it will surprise you too.
7.0 / 10
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