Celldweller - Wish Upon A Blackstar
Industrial Metal, Industrial Rock After numerous sample releases of 2 songs at a time it's finally here, yes the complete version of "Wish upon a Blackstar" after 4 years. Trying out different distribution techniques, has finally been completed with the remaining songs completing the full album, finishing it at no less then 16 tracks. Has Klayton made an album truly worth the wait?.

The Arrival - the intro track starts with dissonant synth lines, boom likes drops and building synthesizer arpeggios ready for the first track.

Unshakable- continuing on from the arrival leads us to the track "unshakable" a drum and bass charged song with fast pace guitar riffs and clean/screamed vocals by Klayton also some great keyboard lines in this song helping to give the track a melodic edge as the song continued. I was shocked when the track got to the breakdown going into drumstep (half tempo drum and bass) a nice turn on the track to the typical dubstep breakdown that is more prominent in electronic music now a great and strong opener for the album.

Blackstar- a more mid tempo track relying on electro house and what could be considered the title track with interspaced guitars, bass sounds and glitches and wobbles splitting up the guitar parts. There's a lot of processing on the guitars making them almost part of the electronics, vocally and lyrically well delivered fitting into the track with no problem at all and no sign of being forced in the mix. A highlight to this track I'd say is the drums - the programmed drums and live drums have a call and response vibe to them helping keep the balance between the rock/metal and electro approach.

Eon- Originally on the chapter 2 release, Eon Could be considered one of the more heavier and guitar based tracks on this album starting off with spaced out guitar and amen breaks and heavy drum fills then Klayton screaming at the top of his voice "I'm pushing through face down!" helping to show the rock/metal side of celldweller is still there and really reflects Klaytons versatility as a song writer and producer. Throughout the song are string guitar parts with synth bass spaced throughout the verses once again strong drum playing helps keep a solid beat and keep the 6 minutes barrier song interesting leading into the breakdown building to repeating guitar parts and ambient like synths and then building to more monstrous screams.

Louder Than Words - Track 2 from chapter 2, louder than words is another electro house influenced track starting with heavy ringing bass guitar notes then the vocals coming in singing the chorus then building to a drum fill signifying the real beginning of the song, with a repeating guitar riff and a backing vocal going "shut up", a nice use of backing vocals to give space within the mix and then following into the verse with more strong lyrics and vocal delivery. Leading back into the chorus which is a real hook and very catchy lyrically, theres also very heavily processed guitar parts in this chorus almost giving a 'womp' sound to it which gives a total different approach to the guitar.

Memories Of A Girl I Haven't Met- An interlude track with clean guitar and vocals helping to split up between songs especially helpful with an album of this size this interlude was a great and different way of breaking things up and could have been turned into a full song and still worked.

I Can't Wait- Well after some breathing space a return to the drum and bass influenced songs with the track 'I can't wait' people may remember this track from chapter 4 with it's heavy breakbeats and bass and powerful live drums really keeps the spark and intensity of the album alive and possibly has one of the best choruses in the album which could be imagined being sung by masses at a gig one thing that pleased me with this song is how there is little processing on the guitar and how natural it sounds with in the song and also in the chorus the use of string arrangements something I would of never thought of using at all.

Gift For You- another chapter 4 track again a different approach vocally though with the use of female vocals and spoken word passages through out the track and use of a heavy synth bass to drive the song which is really slow tempo wise as for guitars there's very little in this song with small clean guitar passages throughout the song.

The Lucky One- And now to chapter 3 with the lucky one a 6 minute long track at a more mid tempo building with drums and vocals with a repeating synth and bass with the guitar later coming in and following it to complete the verses and following into the chorus going through this senquence abit more leading to the bridge with the repeating vocal line saying I try to push straight through the stuck but now my f***ing head is stuck? but the explicit is glitched and stuttered to avoid the word being said full on which I found abit pointless and silly and unnecessary but after this the track goes back to strength in the breakdown and then leading to a build up back to the chorus which adds an extra melody at the end.

The Seven Sisters- Well this genre has finally appeared now The Seven Sisters a dubstep track used as what could be considered as another interlude to the album with is stabbing dubstep bass sounds and then vocals coming into the mix which are very layered on this song and even the use of an auto tuner something I thought was a little unnecessary due to klayton being an extremely capable vocalist but still another surprising turn on this album so far.

Birthright- some fans may remember an early version of this song being shown a few years back in a more demo kind of form but the finished version is now here starting with a catchy bass riff and then boom big thick ringing guitar chords with string and choir arrangements to help give a big start to the song then into the verse with the bass becoming the drive in the song then going to the chorus with more big guitar chords choirs and strings vocally a very uplifting chorus with the words 'don't back down' really giving a sense of hope to the song.

It Makes No Difference Who We Are- Beginning with a pitch shifted lead guitar line with bass and vocals coming in next following into for the first time acoustic guitars being used in a song with down tempo drums and electric guitar coming in to lead the song to its end with a synth arp in the background to make sure the electronic side is still there a heavy of use repeated vocal lines is extremely effective in this song.

The Best It's Gonna get- Wow a real flashback now to chapter 1 with The best it?s Gonna get another more guitar heavy track something that hasn't been heard for a while in the album but a nice return with screamed vocals welcomed too. Coming into the verses the bass and drums take the main stage while klayton sings a mixture of sung and spoken lyrics switching between the 2 effortlessly eventually leading to the chorus which really does stick in your head and back to the verse chorus pattern again and finally leading to the breakdown and bridge sections which welcomes more screams and an almost attack on Hollywood and fame with it's 'keep your money and keep your beauty' then reverting back to the chorus.

So Long Sentiment- A track I've been waiting for the return of 'So Long Sentiment' a real favourite from chapter 1 with big guitar chords glitched acoustic guitars and a flawless vocal performance leading into a drum and bass tempo complete with the typical bass sounds leading to the verse which is accompanied with an amen break and in places more bass and wobble through to a chorus complete with string arrangements and a vocal melody at one point which uses an almost middle eastern vibe to it probably one of my favourite tracks on the album and welcome it's appearance on the final version of Wish Upon A Blackstar.

Tainted- Another Previously Released track Tainted if you've heard the track before you'll understand why it's near the end as it really does work well as a closer before the end of the album and the 2nd track from the chapter 3 release with many layers vocally each doing a different part of a vocal line and the lyrics telling the story of a girl giving a real narrative to the song musically the song relies in the verse a equalised synth bass and programmed drums eventually leading to live drums and a chorus filled with thick layered guitars and bass to accompany the live drums.

Against The Tide- And now the close against the tide complete with piano carrying the melody and string arrangements accompanying the song and orchestra based percussion with synth bass and live drums appearing in small parts through out the song with out over powering the songs orchestral elements and later acoustic guitar adding a harmonic property to the 2nd verse and more keyboards and synths appearing and live drums keeping the beat over the previous orchestral percussion and then finally the crescendo with guitars and drums and screamed vocals taking the main stage.

What can I say? WOW, a fantastic release! I've been listening to industrial/electronic rock and metal for years and I haven't heard anything this fresh in a long time the versatility and experimentation in this album is great and really surprising how klayton has managed to switch back and forth effortlessly between from what I can count 6 different styles of music which has been a total mind blower I ever the few complaints I have on this album is some places over processing effects on the guitar can be unessacery so can the same kind of effects in places on the vocals which can be a little troubling at times but non the less a revolutionary album for the genr
5
Brutal Resonance

Celldweller - Wish Upon A Blackstar

After numerous sample releases of 2 songs at a time it's finally here, yes the complete version of "Wish upon a Blackstar" after 4 years. Trying out different distribution techniques, has finally been completed with the remaining songs completing the full album, finishing it at no less then 16 tracks. Has Klayton made an album truly worth the wait?.

The Arrival - the intro track starts with dissonant synth lines, boom likes drops and building synthesizer arpeggios ready for the first track.

Unshakable- continuing on from the arrival leads us to the track "unshakable" a drum and bass charged song with fast pace guitar riffs and clean/screamed vocals by Klayton also some great keyboard lines in this song helping to give the track a melodic edge as the song continued. I was shocked when the track got to the breakdown going into drumstep (half tempo drum and bass) a nice turn on the track to the typical dubstep breakdown that is more prominent in electronic music now a great and strong opener for the album.

Blackstar- a more mid tempo track relying on electro house and what could be considered the title track with interspaced guitars, bass sounds and glitches and wobbles splitting up the guitar parts. There's a lot of processing on the guitars making them almost part of the electronics, vocally and lyrically well delivered fitting into the track with no problem at all and no sign of being forced in the mix. A highlight to this track I'd say is the drums - the programmed drums and live drums have a call and response vibe to them helping keep the balance between the rock/metal and electro approach.

Eon- Originally on the chapter 2 release, Eon Could be considered one of the more heavier and guitar based tracks on this album starting off with spaced out guitar and amen breaks and heavy drum fills then Klayton screaming at the top of his voice "I'm pushing through face down!" helping to show the rock/metal side of celldweller is still there and really reflects Klaytons versatility as a song writer and producer. Throughout the song are string guitar parts with synth bass spaced throughout the verses once again strong drum playing helps keep a solid beat and keep the 6 minutes barrier song interesting leading into the breakdown building to repeating guitar parts and ambient like synths and then building to more monstrous screams.

Louder Than Words - Track 2 from chapter 2, louder than words is another electro house influenced track starting with heavy ringing bass guitar notes then the vocals coming in singing the chorus then building to a drum fill signifying the real beginning of the song, with a repeating guitar riff and a backing vocal going "shut up", a nice use of backing vocals to give space within the mix and then following into the verse with more strong lyrics and vocal delivery. Leading back into the chorus which is a real hook and very catchy lyrically, theres also very heavily processed guitar parts in this chorus almost giving a 'womp' sound to it which gives a total different approach to the guitar.

Memories Of A Girl I Haven't Met- An interlude track with clean guitar and vocals helping to split up between songs especially helpful with an album of this size this interlude was a great and different way of breaking things up and could have been turned into a full song and still worked.

I Can't Wait- Well after some breathing space a return to the drum and bass influenced songs with the track 'I can't wait' people may remember this track from chapter 4 with it's heavy breakbeats and bass and powerful live drums really keeps the spark and intensity of the album alive and possibly has one of the best choruses in the album which could be imagined being sung by masses at a gig one thing that pleased me with this song is how there is little processing on the guitar and how natural it sounds with in the song and also in the chorus the use of string arrangements something I would of never thought of using at all.

Gift For You- another chapter 4 track again a different approach vocally though with the use of female vocals and spoken word passages through out the track and use of a heavy synth bass to drive the song which is really slow tempo wise as for guitars there's very little in this song with small clean guitar passages throughout the song.

The Lucky One- And now to chapter 3 with the lucky one a 6 minute long track at a more mid tempo building with drums and vocals with a repeating synth and bass with the guitar later coming in and following it to complete the verses and following into the chorus going through this senquence abit more leading to the bridge with the repeating vocal line saying I try to push straight through the stuck but now my f***ing head is stuck? but the explicit is glitched and stuttered to avoid the word being said full on which I found abit pointless and silly and unnecessary but after this the track goes back to strength in the breakdown and then leading to a build up back to the chorus which adds an extra melody at the end.

The Seven Sisters- Well this genre has finally appeared now The Seven Sisters a dubstep track used as what could be considered as another interlude to the album with is stabbing dubstep bass sounds and then vocals coming into the mix which are very layered on this song and even the use of an auto tuner something I thought was a little unnecessary due to klayton being an extremely capable vocalist but still another surprising turn on this album so far.

Birthright- some fans may remember an early version of this song being shown a few years back in a more demo kind of form but the finished version is now here starting with a catchy bass riff and then boom big thick ringing guitar chords with string and choir arrangements to help give a big start to the song then into the verse with the bass becoming the drive in the song then going to the chorus with more big guitar chords choirs and strings vocally a very uplifting chorus with the words 'don't back down' really giving a sense of hope to the song.

It Makes No Difference Who We Are- Beginning with a pitch shifted lead guitar line with bass and vocals coming in next following into for the first time acoustic guitars being used in a song with down tempo drums and electric guitar coming in to lead the song to its end with a synth arp in the background to make sure the electronic side is still there a heavy of use repeated vocal lines is extremely effective in this song.

The Best It's Gonna get- Wow a real flashback now to chapter 1 with The best it?s Gonna get another more guitar heavy track something that hasn't been heard for a while in the album but a nice return with screamed vocals welcomed too. Coming into the verses the bass and drums take the main stage while klayton sings a mixture of sung and spoken lyrics switching between the 2 effortlessly eventually leading to the chorus which really does stick in your head and back to the verse chorus pattern again and finally leading to the breakdown and bridge sections which welcomes more screams and an almost attack on Hollywood and fame with it's 'keep your money and keep your beauty' then reverting back to the chorus.

So Long Sentiment- A track I've been waiting for the return of 'So Long Sentiment' a real favourite from chapter 1 with big guitar chords glitched acoustic guitars and a flawless vocal performance leading into a drum and bass tempo complete with the typical bass sounds leading to the verse which is accompanied with an amen break and in places more bass and wobble through to a chorus complete with string arrangements and a vocal melody at one point which uses an almost middle eastern vibe to it probably one of my favourite tracks on the album and welcome it's appearance on the final version of Wish Upon A Blackstar.

Tainted- Another Previously Released track Tainted if you've heard the track before you'll understand why it's near the end as it really does work well as a closer before the end of the album and the 2nd track from the chapter 3 release with many layers vocally each doing a different part of a vocal line and the lyrics telling the story of a girl giving a real narrative to the song musically the song relies in the verse a equalised synth bass and programmed drums eventually leading to live drums and a chorus filled with thick layered guitars and bass to accompany the live drums.

Against The Tide- And now the close against the tide complete with piano carrying the melody and string arrangements accompanying the song and orchestra based percussion with synth bass and live drums appearing in small parts through out the song with out over powering the songs orchestral elements and later acoustic guitar adding a harmonic property to the 2nd verse and more keyboards and synths appearing and live drums keeping the beat over the previous orchestral percussion and then finally the crescendo with guitars and drums and screamed vocals taking the main stage.

What can I say? WOW, a fantastic release! I've been listening to industrial/electronic rock and metal for years and I haven't heard anything this fresh in a long time the versatility and experimentation in this album is great and really surprising how klayton has managed to switch back and forth effortlessly between from what I can count 6 different styles of music which has been a total mind blower I ever the few complaints I have on this album is some places over processing effects on the guitar can be unessacery so can the same kind of effects in places on the vocals which can be a little troubling at times but non the less a revolutionary album for the genr Jun 19 2012

Michael Davis

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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