2017 has had many very solid black metal releases, especially in the atmospheric department. Another release to add to the list of great atmospheric releases this year is “Aetherra”, the latest album by Celestia. Instead of going full atmosphere, the band opted to create a sound that feels very traditional black metal, and throwing in some atmosphere to make the music feel unique. “Endura in Extremis” opens up the album with a strong atmosphere, but the production and vocal style give this a very old school black metal vibe. This song is well written, and the nice pace changes, especially in the middle help it continue to flow smoothly. Next up is “Innocence”, a slower track that brings in some melody via a really well written lead. “Frozen Elysium” is next, and is a medium paced song, that does a lot to build the atmosphere, and has this aura of sadness surrounding this. However, the traditional black metal doesn’t feel lost, instead is used to support the atmosphere with a solid foundation. “Veiled Illusion” is a bit of a softer track, that focuses more on pace variations and tight writing to give this album another solid track.
It’s followed up by “Prison De Verre”, a folk sounding song that is easily one of the most melodic songs on here besides what follows. “Voyage Dans le Temps Passé” is a very soft instrumental, that almost feels distant, the writing on here is very solid, and while this song acts as an interlude for the two halves of the album, it feels like so much more. “Consolamentii” opens up with a section that continuously switches between soft and heavy, all while remaining fast. The album gets a bit slower on “Discernement Des Juste”, which uses a nice lead guitar before it picks up the pace about halfway through. “Archaic Picture” is a much more chaotic and traditional black metal track with atmosphere added in. The album ends on “Last Sigh” which is solidly written track with a lot of atmosphere, solid pace changes, and ends with a nice acoustic guitar section, before fading out. Overall this is a very solid album. The songs at times feel a bit predictable, and while the production may not be for everyone, it suits the style of music very well. Fans of every type of black metal should not sleep on this one.
Overall Score: 8.0/10
Review by Sam Hookom