Album Review: Clayshaper – Celestian (Self Released)

Sweden’s death metal sculptor Clayshaper emerges from the darkness of his workshop, set to release “Celestian” on February 20th, 2020 digitally.

‘Celestian’ is a melodic progressive death metal album based on promethean stories and myths, cosmic conundrums and immortal longing. Written, recorded, mixed and mastered by Clayshaper in the Shaper’s workshop.

Describing the sound that Clayshaper embody:

Melodic and progressive death metal in the vein of old Dark Tranquility, In Flames and Opeth greatly shaped who I am as a person and musician. But in my opinion, a lot of new music released in the genre veer off to much in either direction. To much melodies and the brutality is lost. Too heavy without finesse is just boring. The magic is found in the middle, and that is what I try to find with my music.

He’s not wrong. Getting the balance of death and melodic progressiveness right isn’t easy. As Clayshaper said, many bands find themselves focused on one over the other to middling results. Some grand, some not so.

Attempting to offer his own take, Clayshaper brings us an album of 8 tracks, effectively split in two. The first four being the original tracks and the second four being instrumental versions of those same songs. Plenty to get your teeth into and you will want to bite down hard on this juicy morsel.

The balance of heavy and melodic is strong here, thanks to a vocal style that is horridly phlegm filled and guitars that sing and soar with energetic rhythm. Musically it’s a lot more refined then you might expect, being a death metal release. It has the toughness of the extreme but releases the fury in a much more interesting way.

Although be under no illusions, Clayshaper can let rip with the best of them when he chooses too. The latter part of the title track is a delicate example of this whereas Sunender comes out raging and roaring before settling down and bringing some down-right uplifting guitar grandness.

It really doesn’t have enough though if we’re honest. Four tracks and that’s your lot. We’re not dismissing the instrumental tracks of course, they’re a welcome addition to help flesh out the release but they are just the same songs without vocals. Something that makes them lesser unfortunately.

We see it as a good thing that we’re left wanting more though. It says to us that what we got here really made an impact.

Clayshaper – Celestian Full Track Listing:

1. Celestian
2. Sunender
3. About to Appear
4. Beyond Silvered Light
5. Celestian (Instrumental)
6. Sunender (Instrumental)
7. About to Appear (Instrumental)
8. Beyond Silvered Light (Instrumental)


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Clayshaper - Celestian (Self Released)
  • The Final Score - 8/10
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