Celldweller
Celldweller


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aeri USER (26 Reviews)
August 19th, 2015 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 'This is probably the first record I've ever done that I haven't hated.'

Scott 'Klayton' Albert wasn't always the man known for blending metal riffs and distorted screams with big theatrical chorus's and dubstep bass wubs. Long before the era of Wish Upon A Blackstar, after steadily working his way through a series of modestly successful metal acts, and garnering himself a wide and fairly devoted fan following, Klayton turned his back on the metal band formula that he had grown to despise so much, formed the electronic rock project that would become his biggest success, and released what is arguably the best work of his career: the self titled Celldweller album. Upon the albums release with the help of Grant Mohrman, after struggling through various budget issues, spending much of the time living on other peoples couches, and numerous delays (something that seems to have become somewhat of a tradition regarding Celldweller releases), Klayton finally lamented; "This is probably the first record I've ever done that I haven't hated."

Musically taking on a style most akin to industrial rock, the 18 track self titled (15 if you discount the 3 'cell' tracks) is a production heavy beast. A self proclaimed perfectionist, Klayton's high level of editing and tweaking for the sake of bettering a song thankfully doesn't do the opposite and drown the album in an overproduced mess. Most notable to avoid this trap is the most successful song of the album, 'Switchback', a track that endured going through over 50 demo versions before the final cut. Instead, what we find here is an album that benefits from a strong electronic backing and production that brings everything in the mix forward into the spotlight, and further strengthens the overall style of the album. Instrumentally, Klayton's 'jack of all trades, master of none' approach to things brings a strong performance to the record. Although lacking anything close to a lead guitar, the wall of rhythm guitars riffage more than does the job, with songs like 'One Good Reason' and 'Own Little World' featuring a catchy, guitar driven sound. Kennedy James and Jarrod Montague join Klayton on the drums for the record and the results are excellent: Songs like 'Under My Feet' and 'Symbiont' flourish in percussion driven segments, and the blend of acoustic and electric drum kits found throughout the album works exceedingly well.

Notorious for a few future tracks with the lyrical depth of a blunt axe ('The Lucky One', we're looking at you), Klayton has never really been one praised as a respected wordsmith in his work. That being said, the writing on this album is by far his best. In contrast with his later work, Klayton's vocal delivery on the album largely remains moody and features far less production, benefiting the darker nature of the lyrics greatly, and giving songs like 'Fadeaway' a big boost. The crown jewel of the album, 'The Last Firstborn', stands as the embodiment of everything this album is: a blend of electronic trance with metal screams and a big wall of guitar distortion. The lyrics are minimal and remain cryptic throughout the track, and with Klayton's whispers of "I hear the sound of a heart, from the shadow in the dark, waiting for the poison to hit its mark," what follows is just shy of 8 minutes full of visceral electronic rock.

As a testament to the albums long standing positive reception, many have argued the style of Celldweller should have been continued, and while I've tried to maintain a tone not including my personal preference throughout this review, I must admit part of me wishes the same. It was listening to 'One Good Reason' and suddenly feeling the gigantic gulf between End of an Empire and the original self titled record that caused this review to be written, despite enjoying modern Celldweller releases. Perhaps it is down to the triumph through adversity it took for this album to become a reality, but I can't help but feel that the pure catharsis found in this album is lacking from Klayton in future releases.



Recent reviews by this author
Zardonic AntiheroMike Shinoda Post Traumatic EP
Smashing Satellites SonicAluzionKenny Wayne Shepherd Band Lay It On Down
Zhiend EchoLandon Tewers Dynamite
user ratings (309)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
fXpT (4)
The first Celldweller album, was very successful in showing what they call music with its Industrial...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Aerisavion
August 19th 2015


1533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Feedback appreciated. Still early days

bloc
August 19th 2015


50795 Comments


Ugh how I wish Celldweller would make his new music like this

Digging: Oubliette (USA) - The Passage

Toondude10
August 19th 2015


12866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album, review is good too

Digging: Monuments - The Amanuensis

Relinquished
August 19th 2015


37836 Comments


how is the review good, toon? expand your "feedback".

Toondude10
August 19th 2015


12866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

is it really necessary to provide specific reasons on why the review is good? I thought that was for criticisms.

Aerisavion
August 20th 2015


1533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Ugh how I wish Celldweller would make his new music like this"



I know what you mean. I love Wish Upon A Blackstar, but sometimes newer Celldweller just seems so over polished in comparison.. His vocals on this album are so dark and moody and I love that.



"great album, review is good too"



Cheers toon!

JeetJeet
August 20th 2015


5257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i remember my first time hearing this dude's music was when I was a kid playing Road Rash. I use to go apeshit to Symbiont

Digging: Hundredth - Ultrarare

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
August 20th 2015


13962 Comments


The Last Firstborn is a brilliant track, only thing by him i ever really loved

Digging: Radiohead - The Bends

Aerisavion
August 20th 2015


1533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"The Last Firstborn is a brilliant track"



Absolutely. The live remix of it featured on the 10 year anniversary edition was also really good

romulanrancor
January 4th 2017


7410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

40 something dude does dance metal



this should be terrible, but it's actually really good

Digging: Nine Inch Nails - Bad Witch

EvoHavok
January 4th 2017


7566 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

For the most part, this guy knows his stuff at this style.

romulanrancor
January 4th 2017


7410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

anything else worth checking of his?

MonotoneMop
January 4th 2017


573 Comments


Haven't listened to this in years. I liked Own Little World and So Sorry to Say, but I was 14 then so don't trust that recommendation.

bloc
January 4th 2017


50795 Comments


Pretty sure he wasn't 40 when this album was released but yeah he really knows this style of music inside and out.

romulanrancor
January 4th 2017


7410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Born: November 13, 1963 (age 53)



he's old dude

bloc
January 4th 2017


50795 Comments


Holy shit I did not know that

Dude looks good for this age, not gonna lie

romulanrancor
January 4th 2017


7410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i was p amazed too haha

budgie
January 4th 2017


5089 Comments


"Dude looks good for this age, not gonna lie"

gay

gay

ur a gay

not a gay

Digging: Helena Deland - Drawing Room

romulanrancor
January 4th 2017


7410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'd bang him

bloc
January 4th 2017


50795 Comments


The hair has gotta go though, I appreciate the dedication but still haha



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy