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Celestial Sanctuary – Mass Extinction

Celestial Sanctuary
Mass Extinction
by Thomas Kumke at 16 October 2020, 5:19 PM

CELESTIAL SANCTUARY is a new metal band from Cambridge, UK. They were formed in 2019 and play the whole spectrum of Death Metal. That includes classic as well as modern elements of Death Metal forming the New Wave of British Death Metal to use the words of the band. The band’s name is derived from a BOLT THROWER song that might tell something about their influences. Their first demo “Mass Extinction” was initially released in 2019 by Welsh label FHED and Portuguese label Brutal Cave Production, but was now re-issued by US label Redefining Darkness Records. Earlier this year, the band released the single “Koalemus”.

Mass Extinction” starts with a headbanging sequence: powerful, dark, catchy, and heavy guitar riffs at mid-tempo that transitions into a blast of a highly paced mix of brutal guitar shredding, hammering drums with relentlessly double-bass sequences, all framed by the growling vocals of Tomas C. “Wretched Habits” is once again headbanging stuff at the beginning that resolves into a frantic, chaotic mix of guitars, bass, drums, and growls. In contrary to the title song, “Wretched Habits” concludes with the dark and slow chords from the beginning of the song. In both songs, guitars, bass, and drums sound massive, the chords and riffing is cringing. Although all four band members play at very high quality, I was especially impressed by the outstanding performance of James B. on the drums.

The song structures of both songs remind me a bit on BOLT THROWER classics. However, CELESTIAL SANCTUARY draw their sound from a variety of especially European Death Metal bands. They do not reinvent the wheel, but they add their own elements to the proven Death Metal formula and they do that very well. I like the mix of the dark and slow parts, the transitions to blistering speed while maintaining the overall theme and structure of the songs. The demo is very well produced contributing to the great sound.

Mass Extinction” may have only two songs with a total length of 8 minutes, but indicates what fans can expect from their highly anticipated full-length debut album next year. CELESTIAL SANCTUARY made a very promising start as a Death Metal band and they left a mark with “Mass Extinction”. If their full-length album can keep that level, then CELESTIAL SANCTUARY can break into the ranks of the Death Metal heavy weights in the years to come.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Mass Extinction
2. Wretched Habits
Lineup:
Tomas C. – Vocals, Guitars
Matt A. – Guitars
James B. – Drums
Jim R. – Bass
Record Label: Redefining Darkness Records
     


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