Celestial Season

Picture of Celestial Season

Solar Lovers

Celestial Season - Solar Lovers ©1995 Metal Blade
1. Decamerone
2. Solar Child
3. Body As Canvas
4. Soft Embalmer Of The Still Midnight
5. Will You Wait For The Sun?
6. The Holy Snake
7. Dancing To A Thousand Symphonies
8. Vienna
9. Fandango
10. The Scent Of Eve
11. A Tune From The Majestic Queen's Garden

Somewhere along the line it became fashionable for the doom metal bands to hire on violinists to compliment the dirgey, slower than eldery drivers, depressive music. Naturally you can probably suggest My Dying Bride is the one to be persecuted for such thing and chances are Celestial Season has heard an MDB record or two in their day. Solar Lovers was a bit of an improvement all around over Forever Scarlet Passion, which lacked much passion. Though a lot of this material moves along at approximately 12 miles per hour, the band has the ability to occasionally catch a good groove or show a smart instrumental bridge. Generally the atmosphere of the record is of oppressive heaviness, from the downtuned guitars to the ultra low vocals. Occasional bits like "The Holy Snake" provide a bit of breathing room from the bogginess and gloom. "Dancing to a Thousand Symphonies" is probably the most up, yo-ho-ho, energetic song on the disc and certainly the grooviest. For the most part, Solar Lovers is a reasonably worthwhile listen that has very open and strong production and a handful of interesting songs. I would say doom lovers should at least give this a twirl.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1999

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Sonic Orb EP

Celestial Season - Sonic Orb EP ©1995 Displeased
1. Astral Dub
2. Icarus With You
3. Pegasus
4. King Lizard

Having replaced vocalists after Solar Lovers, Celestial Season abandoned their doom metal roots and pursued a sound that might be a bit more reminiscient of Kyuss and the whole so-called "Stoner Rock" movement. This four song EP (not including a superfluous hidden track) introduces fans to their new style and very likely caused a series of cerebral shorts as it was quite the swing away from the doom. New singer Cyril actually has a decent singing voice, unlike his low grunting predecessor, and is capable of conveying a convincing melody. The music is groove oriented, with hints of Sabbath and of course, Kyuss. The first two songs on the EP are quite catchy and memorable but the final two bring down the overall impact of the CD. However, earlier albums had never been completely consistent either, so the one thing you could say about Celestial Season was that their only constant was inconsistency. The oddest thing about their version of stoner rock is that their violinst hadn't left the band, so the violin lines appear here and there, offering a slightly unique extra flavor for the band.

While afficiandos of doom might be turned off by this EP, Sonic Orb is a fairly enjoyable attempt by Celestial Season. If nothing else, "Astral Dub" and "Icarus With You" are strong enough to warrant seeking out, particularly for fans of groove rock.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/2002

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Celestial Season - Orange ©1997 Big Bloke Records
1. Wallaroo
2. Too Much Too Soon
3. Black Queen is Dynamite
4. The Orleans Capsule
5. Carmencita
6. Salamandra
7. One-Eye Generator
8. Warp Speed to Vulcan
9. Diabolo Cruiser XL5
10. 1000 Things
11. Daisy's Lunch
12. Dive
13. Risin' Out of the Loop
14. Diesel Reptile

Years ago, I worked at a record store for a few months. There was this one fellow who had sold all his death and black metal CDs to focus solely on stoner rock. For whatever reason, he had found religion in weed and submerged himself entirely in its culture.

Based on Celestial Season's Orange, the band's first full length effort after their transition into a "stoner rock" style, I have come to the conclusion one would have to be entirely baked to find much appreciation here.

While Sonic Orb at least hinted that Celestial Season would find some musical gratification after moving away from the increasingly cluttered doom metal field, Orange does not cash in on that promise. The lazy, sonically squashed Orange lumbers through the album's duration without really catching onto a good hook, solid groove or great song. Songs about auto racing and weird titles like "Daisy's Lunch" don't offer a whole lot beyond novelty. The album is mostly hesitant and timid. Ultimately Celestial Season would find considerably more comfort in writing songs within this style, but Orange is not that album.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2009

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Lunchbox Dialogues

Celestial Season - Lunchbox Dialogues ©2000 La Guapa Records
1. Lonely Man Burning
2. Sharks & Razors
3. Outshine
4. Boarding Music
5. Mary Meets The Sky
6. Body Overdrive
7. Celestial Dragon
8. All Wrong
9. Comfortable Mess
10. From The Plains

Celestial Season spent most of their existence sounding like they were heavily influenced by someone else. On the band's first two albums, Forever Scarlet Passion and Solar Lovers, their undeniable affinity for My Dying Bride was evident clear down to the usage of violins over the massively heavy and pondersome riffs. However, after Solar Lovers, Celestial Season turned a sharp corner and began pursuing the desert rock sounds of Kyuss. They ditched the gutteral death metal vocals for a vocalist whose voice wasn't terribly dissimilar from one John Garcia. Admittedly, the band's sound on Orange wasn't perfectly developed, but by Lunchbox Dialogues, Celestial Season had mastered the art of this heavy stoner rock thing.

If nothing else, Lunchbox Dialogues ascends from the somewhat clumsy feeling of Orange. Rather, Lunchbox Dialogues is filled with extremely tight songwriting, excellent arrangements and memorable riffs. The band's years as a doom metal band pay off in being able to effortlessly put forth a feeling of honest heaviness while still maintaining the groove element necessary to make this sort of thing work out. The songs are multi-faceted with a good sense of movement throughout. Unlike many bands, you don't feel as though you've heard everything the band has to offer within the first two minutes of the first song.

Celestial Season wrapped things up not long after this album, releasing a final EP before calling it a day. If nothing else, Lunchbox Dialogues represents a final pinnacle for a band who spent a lot of time toiling away without recognition. Despite the obvious influence of the Kyuss league of bands, Celestial Season stakes out their claim as a strong contender in the field.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2004

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