French maulers Celeste return with volcanic intensity, violent power on blistering ‘Infidèle(s)’

I love putting on music that leaves me completely annihilated. Like, a heaving mess on the floor trying to pick up the pieces, wondering what it is that just happened to me. I love to sink in and concentrate during music as well, but a good demolition sometimes is what it takes to get rid of the toxins and regenerate the self.

That’s always a good place to tackle music from French metallic force Celeste, who have been lighting faces on fire for more than a decade now. They have returned with their ferocious fifth full-length “Infidèle(s),” a harrowing, 10-track experience that hits you like an anvil carrying another anvil. It’d their first in four years, following up 2013’s monstrous “Animale(s).” As has been the case since they formed, the band has a sound that’s tough to pin down. Black metal, sludge, hardcore, and noise all are crucial elements of their explosive style, though none of them overpower the others. On this record, you’re bruised over 48 challenging minutes that rarely even take a break from dumping the intensity and heaviness. Yet, it’s not just brutality, as the band—bassist/vocalist Johan, guitarists Sebastian and Guillaume, drummer Royer—nuance the music with melody and emotion, letting you know human hearts are behind this thing.

“Cette Chute Brutale” opens with grimy power and raw growls, typical elements of the band’s songs, while we head into dissonant thrashing. Later, the band deals some hardcore juice, while the song grinds out as Johan tears his pipes apart. “Comme Des Amants En Reflet” is muddy and trudging, with the pace clobbering, and the vocals dealing maximum punishment. Faces are pushed hard into rocks, while the track has an ugly, violent end. “Tes Amours Noirs Illusoires” opens in atmospheric heaviness, making it feel like thick cloud cover is marring the sun. Nasty growls erupt while the playing folds in on itself, and powerful riffs drag us to the ground-soaking end. “Sombres Sont Tes Déboires” opens in a panic, as the song smashes away, destroying every shred of calm. Vicious growls and tar-thick guitars are intertwined and make sledding tough, while the back end is blistering and deliberately punishing, making you absorb every blow.  “À La Gloire Du Néant” tears apart and reignites the storms. Your brain wires are ripped out of your head, as the temperature cools to a freeze, and the sounds rush and fade.

“Sotte, Sans Devenir” chugs hard, but the music also hangs overhead and gives off a trance feeling. As the track goes on, its assault leaves bruises, and the shrieks and growls pelt the flesh. There are strong melodies packed inside but also a menacing end. “(I)” is a massive instrumental that has guitars churning, the band grinding away, and the drama continually building. While devoid of words, the song’s story still is easy to follow, and it rushes into the face of “Entre Deux Vagues” and its weird, nightmarish black metal-style riffs. In what is a theme of the record, the heaviness situates overhead like a cold, fall rain storm, and along with that are burly growls and a destructive path that rips everything in its path. “De l’ivresse Au Dégoût” is hypnotic and stunning, as the vocals bring devastation, and the band unloads a mathcore-friendly attack. The song clobbers intensively and repeatedly, with the song coming to a gritty, muddy end. Closer “Sans Coeur Et Sans Corps” begins as a slow-driving push, as the vocals scrape, and the guitars spill buckets of muck. Things remain blurry and dangerous, as the shrieks jab you in the ribs, and the group brings the song to a heavy-handed finish.

Celeste’s destructive energy and emotional outbursts always make their records memorable affairs, and “Infidèle(s)” is no exception. Their music, even if the language barrier holds you back, has a way of getting into your blood and raising your temperature. They rip through those roadblocks and create fiery music that either could signal the end of the world or the blazing rebirth of a new one.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/celesteband/

To buy the album, go here: https://denovali.com/store/

For more on the label, go here: https://denovali.com

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