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Celestial Decay - Contradictum 3.5/5

Reviewed: 9-1-12


1. In remembrance
2. Eye of the storm
3. Silent embrace
4. Child of the night
5. Unfaithful
6. Gates of heaven
7. No need for a hero
8. C.R.O.D.
9. The ascension
10. Reaper's goodbye
11. Void within II
12. Contradictum
Final night:
13. Prologue
14. Act I - The beginning
15. Act II - Exodus of mankind
16. Act III - Of the end

Celestial Decay is a Swedish power metal band that was formed in 2008 by guitarist Hobbe Houshmand, who left the band Last Kingdom in 2007. Last Kingdom has since released their debut 'Chronicles of the north', which was reviewed by colleague Sean a few months ago with a rating of 3.5/5, and I agree with that rating, though an argument could easily be made for 4/5. Celestial Decay's debut 'Contradictum' was actually released in 2009 (a few years before 'Chronicles of the north'), but it took a long time for me to track it down, so I'm just now introducing it to all of you.

Firstly, this CD has received the same rating as Last Kingdom's debut, but while 'Chronicles of the north' is a fairly straightforward fantasy-oriented power metal CD, 'Contradictum' is much more intriguing. While the CD's base style is melodic power metal, there are progressive elements and it's lightly symphonic at times too. The best comparison is Stratovarius from a decade ago, and I'm reminded a lot of the one and only CD 'Seasons' released 10 years ago by French band Northwind. In addition, some of the more progressive musical segments bring to mind early Ivory Tower. Basically, this CD sounds like it was released a decade or so ago, which is a good think in my mind.

Vocally, the band is fronted by Angelo Mayer, whose somewhat high-pitched voice is crystal clear and he's comparable to vocalists from the mentioned bands. I personally like his performance a lot, and he fits the band's style perfectly. Some of the songs have great choruses, and this is where Angelo shines the most. If you're a fan of the majority of Swedish, Finnish or even Italian power metal bands, you should be happy with Angelo's vocals.

The CD has a long running-time at around 70 minutes, but some of the songs are short interludes (a few with spoken words), and the CD is thoroughly interesting. There are more than a handful of slow songs, but many of them pick up in a catchy manner and there's a satisfying amount of speed, for the most part. My favorite song is the closer "Of the end" (the 4th part of "Final night"), which is probably the most memorable, recalling Ivory Tower's best songs, and it's a nice finish to an enjoyable CD.

So it's obvious that I dig this CD, and I was therefore surprised to learn that the band has gone through some line-up changes since the release of this debut, and I also know that Angelo is no longer the vocalist. I'm confident that the band has made these changes to increase their quality though, so I still look forward to their 2nd CD, which is expected to be released fairly soon. In the meantime, check out this debut, as it's a great start for the band, and it's recommended to power metal fans.




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