Denovali Records

Street: 11.22.13

Celeste = Aosoth + Amenra + Cult of Luna

Listening to Animale(s) is not enjoyable. It’s a tough, thick, oppressive listen, sung in French, with few moments of respite from what sounds like 100 guitar tracks crunching over relentless drumming. Animale(s) made me feel like I was on a city bus on a cold, cloudy day, nausea creeping up on me because all that I’d inhaled for the past 30 minutes was diesel fumes and stale air. Singled out, there are areas on Animale(s) that are excellent, like when the band breaks into a hardcore groove, the tremolo picking switches keys for two bars, or the pair of much-needed instrumental tracks. All of this isn’t to say that Animale(s) isn’t worthy of a listen—it’s packaged beautifully and is appropriately claustrophobic, and may very well be on year-end lists. Celeste’s latest is relentless, which can be exhilarating, but in this case, it’s fatiguing. –Peter Fryer