Released: 2010, Bindrune Recordings
Funeral doom is a demanding genre; the long songs, lots of open spaces, and general drone are a lot for most people to take in (myself included). When done well it can be highly rewarding, but bad funeral doom is easily one of the most excruciatingly boring listening experiences there is. Enter Minnesota’s Celestiial. Formed in 2004 by American black metal lurker / pagan, Tanner Anderson, Celestiial garnered some good press for its debut full-length, DESOLATE NORTH and the following split with Blood of the Black Owl. WHERE LIFE SPRINGS ETERNAL is the band’s next step, as Tanner has added a live bassist and drummer to the group to expand their sound.
If there is one thing that Celestiial does well, it’s creating atmosphere. Of the five tracks on the album, three are mood-building interludes that feature feedback and the sounds of nature, primarily soothing falling rain. You’re easily pulled into the album’s naturalistic ambience. Together, the three tracks take up less than ten minutes of the album’s near 50-minute running time, so you now that the other two tracks are the showcases. The first, “Great Storms Carry My Sadness” opens with a blood-curdling scream from Tanner before settling into a typical funeral doom dirge, slowly dragging you along the riverbed in the forest. Throughout, Celestiial sprinkle more sounds of nature to increase the mood. It’s certainly an interesting take on funeral doom and it’s intriguing to start. Unfortunately as the 30-minute brute trundles on, it becomes increasingly apparent that despite the intrigue, Celestiial has nothing more to say. The track goes nowhere. The same goes for the other song, “Offering in Cedar Smoke”.
Sadly, Celestiial’s music does not live up to the promise of the atmosphere they create. Hardened fans of funeral doom may find some worth in WHERE LIFE SPRINGS ETERNAL, but everyone else won’t find much here.