Celeste – Assassine(s) (Review)

Celeste - Assassine(s)Celeste are a French blackened doom/sludge/hardcore band and this is their seventh album.

This is the follow up to 2017’s Infidèle(s), which I enjoyed a great deal. Clocking in at 41 minutes, this is on the shorter side for a Celeste album, and Assassine(s) finds the band focused and sharp.

For their new album Celeste have pushed their blackened post-hardcore sludge amalgamation into ever more modern waters. The core of the band’s sound is just as formidable and unforgiving as it always has been, but there is a greater sense of breadth and range on this album.

Further exploring texture and mood, while concurrently placing a greater emphasis on immediacy and thick distortion, Assassine(s) is a balancing act of melodic atmosphere and metallic weight. These two aspects of Celeste manage to complement each other in surprising ways, resulting in an album that sounds like quintessential Celeste, and yet not at the same time. The music is simultaneously more complex and less crowded. This seemingly contradictory statement is resolved by the increased precision of the band and the impeccable production; Celeste sound good, and you can hear every part of the record with lethal clarity.

It’s an interesting direction that Celeste have chosen, one that has moved them forward while retaining the core of their identity. It works very well, and Assassine(s) is an immersive and satisfying album.

Highly recommended.

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