Album: Wish Upon A Blackstar
Label: FiXT Music
Genre: electronic rock, dubstep, experimental
The Detroit-based DJ and multi-instrumentalist Klayton is the mastermind behind Celldweller. The 3rd release of Celldweller Wish Upon A Blackstarhas been in progress since 2004, and the album was released between 2009 and 2012 as “chapters”.
With 8 years of creative work on the album, the result is an interesting mix of rock, electronics, metal, trance and dubstep. While that combination might sound artificially forced upon the music, the result is refreshing, innovative and captivating. Klayton's music is innovative in a way that it not just improves a genre, but advances music itself. Whatever genre you prefer, I'd highly recommend you to listen to this album – you might find a whole new universe of sounds opening up to you.
Wish Upon A Blackstar has a multitude of sounds and layers to it, and the immaculate production has guaranteed an optimal balance in the resulting music. The craftsmanship that is showcased on this album is impressive. Another element which ties the album together is the theme of the “Blackstar”, and the sci-fi references that are recurring throughout the songs.
The album opens with the spacey instrumental “The Arrival”, that flows into “Unshakeable”, the first single from the album, and a good introduction of what you can expect from the album: a combination of rock, dubstep, layers of electronics and synthesizer sounds and high-quality vocals. Next, “Blackstar” is an incredibly catchy song I expect to turn into a club hit. Although “Blackstar” might be slightly more mainstream (less changes in tempo, great grooving beat and pop-style backings), it still sounds new nonetheless.
“Eon”, used in the 2010 video game Dead Rising 2, is an electronic nu-metal track. Interestingly, even the vocals are adapted to the overall style of the song, sounding like a polished version of an In Flames track. “Louder Than Words” could be an electro-infused version of a Disturbed song.
The 6th track “Memories of a Girl I Haven't Met” is a dreamy intermezzo, before the beats are blasted out again on “I Can't Wait”, where dubstep and nu-metal are mixed. “Gift For You” is a slower track, with a dark, menacing undertone to it.
“The Lucky One” is again a catchy blend of different styles, with a more prominent role for the vocals and lyrics. “The Seven Sisters” is a down-tempo track where the vocals are blended masterfully into the layers of electronics and create at times a reference to Gregorian chanting. “Birthright” incorporates orchestral components as well.
“It Makes No Difference Who We Are” is the kind of song which might get stuck in your head for an entire evening. The track builds up around a theme layer by layer. “The Best it's Gonna Get” combines a darker, deeper sound and features some rap vocals. On “So Long Sentiment” a dash of eastern influences is added to the rich platter of this album. The album closes with “Tainted” and “Against the Tide”, intensely layered electronic and orchestral tracks. The last minutes of the album are a carefully composed fade-out.
If you enjoy listening to new ideas and wonder if it's possible to create music that does not fall in one of the existing categories, I'd highly recommend you to check out this album (provided that you're not allergic to the sci-fi Blackstar theme which is woven into the entire album).
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