"Celestial Blues" (Relapse; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Celestial Blues" is a journey through darkness, and it's a journey that some won't be willing to take. Then again, isn't that the case with any musical endeavor?

"Celestial Blues" is a sludgy, stone/doom record that has more atmosphere than most Class M planets. It starts off with a quiet, whispered piece that explodes mid-way with a down-turned chord that could tear your head off if you upped the volume to see what the whispers were telling you. For the most part, it keeps to that sludgy, doom sound although other similar genres make there appearance here and there at the appropriate times.

Vocalist Kristina Esfandiari keeps everything together with her mesmerizing and consistent sound while the tracks meander from the grungy to the doomy to the sludgy and many places in between. My favorite tracks were probably the rumbling grumble of "Coil," and the haunting "Ruse." But it's unfair to pick favorite tracks from an album that should be listened to from beginning to end, with headphones and with your focus no where but on the music.

Again, not for everyone by any stretch but a fascinating audio journey for those willing to put in the work.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2021 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.