The accompanying press release professes that true Norwegian Black Metal is dead, and insinuates albeit rather vaguely that Norway's Celestial Bloodshed offers the genre something unique sounding on their debut entitled Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed.
Sure the six tracks presented here (not including the typical intro fodder which comes complete with rattling chains and church bells) offer the listener massive doses of densely layered, ultra- fast and furious tremolo picked notes, impressive blast beats and grisly vocals, which are all as effective as a cold ice pick to the forehead; unique or original though its not. At least Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed isn't too derivative sounding on the whole, as the band does attempt to mix things up every so often by interspersing the odd atmospheric passage, something they do quite effectively on tracks "All Praise To Thee" and "The Demon Of Old". The production qualities are above average, even though at times the drums appear a bit flat sonically, which is a bit of a shame because this skilled drummer's overall performance is one of the high points musically.
All in all Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed isn't as dynamic or as groundbreaking as they would have you believe, however Celestial Bloodshed are still a relatively new band that seemingly has all the pieces in place, so they just might yet deliver on that promised masterpiece in the not to distant future.
2) Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed
3) Sign Of The Zodiac
4) Truth Is Truth, Beyond The God
5) All Praise To Thee
6) Gospel Of Hate
7) The Demon Of Old