I’ve been following Finnish CELESTY basically ever since they released their self-produced EP in 2000, titled “Times Before The Ice”, which had been pretty unoriginal, but still hopeful within the Power Metal genre. In the course of two more albums they stayed very true to their original sound, yet unfortunately staying a little too close to it, drifting off into the realm of standard and average material. So when I received “Mortal Mind Creation”, I was not too thrilled to listen, but after putting it off for a while I finally put it on and it surprised me big time!
Yes, the sextet still plays Power Metal, but they have given their sound a slight makeover, which definitely suits them well. From opener “Lord Of Mortals” on it becomes quite clear that the guitars are taking a more dominant role in the songs and that overall heavier parts have found their way into the still highly melodic Power Metal sound, pushing the keyboards into more of a support role instead of a lead position. Together with Antti Railio’s powerful voice this gives CELESTY’s sound a somewhat more mature feeling to it, which is good to see, as they were on the verge of rendering themselves obsolete with the missing evolution of their compositions.
Don’t get me wrong, very catchy melodies, keyboards and double-bass still are an integral part of “Mortal Mind Creation”, so they have not done a complete 180, but they seem to have realized that too much reliance on the happy and sappy melodies was not leading them anywhere anymore, so the added punch in the guitars gives a few of the songs an almost light thrashy touch, like on “Lord Of Mortals”, “Demon Inside” or “Last Sacrifice”, which definitely is added value in my ears. That they have not forgotten how to write great melodies, though, is proved by songs such as “Unreality”, “Empty Room” or “Back In Time”. Overall my personal favourites are “Lord Of Mortals” (minus the unnecessary keyboard solo), “Among The Dreams”, “Back In Time” and “Last Sacrifice”.
A very wise decision by CELESTY to mature their sound a bit, so they would not completely get lost in the maelstrom of generic sounding bands, as that was where they were headed, in this form they definitely still have a reason to be and let’s see, where this evolution will lead them, if they will continue to explore the newly found avenues or if they are content with what they have achieved so far. Definitely recommended for Power Metal fans.
(Online November 9, 2006)