Celeste is another player on the scene that offers music in similar fashion (although their take on it is much noisier and a bit more to the point with much shorter average song lengths and such) to bands that follow the path cut by Neurosis, Isis, Cult of Luna, etc. Nihiliste(s) is Celeste's first full-length, and this outfit from Lyon, France is showing why bands from the old country are throwing down the gauntlet in this genre and challenging the more established acts to continue to make affecting music. Nihiliste(s) is ten songs in just under forty-five minutes time (short for the style of music).
As an album, Nihiliste(s) comes across as an accomplished batch of well written songs which are meant to be together. Right from the opening blast of "On Pendra Les Femmes Et Les Enfants En Premier" Celeste showcases a big and powerful sound that relentlessly buffets listeners with discordant guitar riffs and pounding percussion; the inclusion of the excellent groove for the initial riff is a nice touch. Calling the transition into "Au Feu Le Savoir" seamless would be a gross understatement, and while the slower tempo could benefit from a bit more bass, Celeste do use dynamics very well in this song while ratcheting up the cacophonous noise levels use; the time change is really impressive and continues with a nice off time section for some variety. Nihiliste(s) does employ some pensive moments as is evident in "Tu Regardes, Trop Fort, Tu Penses Trop Fort, Tu Parles Trof" while pounding drums, noisy guitars, and ragged vocals create a certain atmosphere. "Comme S'il Suffisait De Lever Le Doigt Pour Refaire" contains another great groove from Celeste while still maintaining a full sound and crushing aural attack, and the ragged vocal style really works well on for the noisy style the band conjures just as the vocals do on the rest of the album; the double bass drum rolls only add to the already punishing song which is powered by guitars that cut through the distortion at times with a vicious sounding precision.
Nihiliste(s) is a fairly seamless album which just blows through its ten tracks as if the members' of Celeste lives depend on it; the record goes full blast from the minute the listener pushes play until the last ringing tones fade from the speakers of the stereo. My one wish for Nihiliste(s) would be that the band use more soft dynamics (not wishing to change their sound at all because Celeste does many things right on the record) to their arrangements or some kind of interlude now and then to better differentiate what is going on from time to time; the constant blast can wash out some of what is going on during the album which is otherwise well written. Celeste shows a great deal of promise with Nihiliste(s) and there is just that certain indescribable something that they are missing on this record that keeps it from being great. Perhaps their next record or the following one can deliver and hit on that missing unknown element.
7.0 / 10
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