Thursday, October 13, 2022

Gothtober- Celldweller : "Satellites"

 Klayton is back with the fifth album from this project that has been in motion since the 2003 debut. Almost 20 years of smartly written industrial strength electronic based hard rock. Sometimes cross over more into nu-metal in the early days but written with more finesse than bands who are household names now. The album opens with a touch of metal in his mind, as he is clearly aware of the influence Meshuggah has on the genre. He barks out some of the vocals and sings other in a manner that is more familiar. Break beats dominate the second song rather than the more crunching industrial beats. He is great at creating almost robotic vocal harmonies he can flip into a hook. A talent he has continued to refine here. 

Going into "a Matter of Time" it is high energy in the drum programming, but this does not lend itself for vocals to fit on the groove as well. It is aggressive as metal in places. "My Disintegration" is all over the place but when it locks in a proggy Tool like brooding it comes together best. It is effective despite not being the album's most original moment. "Soul Parasites" is heavier and more spastic in its bounce. The vocals in the verse come across more like nu-metal rap. "Electric Eye" is more melodic and while the drum programming coasts at a higher BPM than the previous song, it gives the vocals more room to do their thing, which is the winning formula for this project since his vocals are the true strength. 

"Baptized in Fire" has a thrash metal like guitar riff that drives the verses. The riff is pretty cool but sits back in the mix.  The vocals are used to offset this and provide more dynamic range, even when the get into the more break beaten rap style. When he throws the song into a more rabid metal attack, I think it is convincing enough for fans of middle of the road metal fans to embrace. However, it is unlikely that this is going to appeal to fans of black metal or grind core, though that is not his target audience by far. 30 Seconds to Mars is a better frame of reference. He is not going for the same level of commercial gold, even though he shows his mastery of framing vocal melodies on the last song. I will give this album a 9, it feels like it could have just as easily ben made in 2004, thought aware enough of how music has changed around him since. 

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