S

CELLDWELLER
WISH UPON A BLACKSTAR
ALBUM FIXT MUSIC RELEASE: JUNE 12, 2012 REVIEW: JUNE 26, 2012


Klayton released the first, brilliant album under the name Celldweller in 2003. Since then itís been a looong wait, until 2009 when he realized that it we would have to wait an unfeasibly long time for the follow-up, so he decided to release it in chapters with two songs at the time. After four parts, we can now finally listen to the finished result, complete with 17 (!) tracks - that means almost an albumís worth of previously unheard songs as well. Usually Iím not a big fan of such long albums but since Iíve been fed parts of it over a long time, Iíve had the chance to digest it.

Klayton and Celldweller has almost cut out his own genre these days, roughly described as a mix between hardcore electronic music, dubstep and melodic rock/metal. ďMetalstepĒ if you will. It works surprisingly well, and Klaytonís production skills are second to none. Seriously, it really sounds awesome. Fat basslines squirms underneath guitar riffs, heavy but snappy breakbeats and the sleek, clean vocals by Klayton himself.

Thanks to its intriguing blend of genres, this album is a rare beast that might attract fans from both the electronic and metal camps. We get furious rock, dubby electronic tracks and slow ambient linking pieces. The debut album was even more varied though, as this album has a more coherent ďCelldweller styleĒ. This is both good and bad, as I love the crazy mix of the debut, but I also enjoy the more developed Celldweller.

So, this is a different beast than the debut, but it is a worthy follow-up. Itís a bit difficult for me to get an objective view on it though, since I heard the first parts of it three years ago. Those older tracks hold up great, and my favorite tracks are among both old and new songs. Itís an astonishing piece of work, and itís a statement to Klaytonís independence - he runs his own label and online shop Fixt Music - that he could release the album this way, and do what he likes. And he does it better than anybody.

If you're so inclined, there's a deluxe version of "Wish upon a Blackstar" as well, with a bonus disc of instrumentals. That's the one I've got, and it gives another perspective on some of the songs.

JOHAN CARLSSON