Thursday, March 19, 2015

Celldweller - End of An Empire

Electronic in the broadest of terms is been one of my guilty pleasures over the years.  There is nothing in particular that I enjoy about it.  I guess because of the great beats and sounds that artists can create seems endless, especially with a digital hand.  As the years have progressed with electronic, the argument could be made that artists have changed but the sound is fundamentally the same.  I remember in the early introduction with artist like Scooter when was eleven years old and watching "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation".

So my usual scouring the net for good tunes had me land upon an artist by the name of Celldweller.  It is the stage name and current project of Scott Albert, aka Klayton.  I know there are a lot of names here, but for the sake of this post, I am going to leave the name of Celldweller.  At first glance, I was quite happy to see a Detroit based artist progressing from a recently increasing appetite for electronic music such as Detroit (which is how I came to find out about the Electronic Music Festival).  I was also instantly intrigued as Celldweller tends to blend metal, rock, and electronic music.  All you metal fist bumpers know what I'm talking about. haha

Project Celldweller has been on the scene for some time now, originating back in 1999.  To dive more into that blend I was talking about earlier, I was very entertained with the different elements he brings to the track.  Whether it's a metal scream or a few stringed instruments, he seems to bring it all full circle with a mix of EDM, dub-step, and DnB.

You may or may not have listened to Celldweller before.  During his early stages of Celldweller, Klayton would collaborate/compose for the soundtrack of Criss Angel: Mindfreak.  While Jonathan Davis was responsible for the 60 second intro clip on the show, Klayton re-produced and re-engineered the track and turned it into a full track, which was followed by a music video.  Criss and Kalyton also had a project together called Angeldust.  But that's going into another tangent.

Celldweller has been working on a multi-series of releases titled "End of An Empire" (EOAE).  I myself only recently discovered these albums since I have not heard new music from Celldweller recently.  The overall project is still currently in production but so far, Celldweller has released three of the four albums; "Time", "Love", and "Dreams".  The final installment, "Death", will be released on July 17th, 2015.  This marks the final piece for EOAE, after which Celldweller will move onto another series; hopefully something that conveys a fantasy world like this.

"Time, Love, Dreams, Death
Space, Mind, Scene, Tech"

Who knows, maybe fans of Celldweller will be extra lucky and treated with Space, Mind, Scene, Tech as well.  Even though I can not confirm that might already be in the works (or may not be at all).  Since the "Wish Upon A Blackstar" were released by 2012, you can see that Celldweller wasted no time getting to work on EOAE.  The series is set to a fictional world created by Celldweller known as "Atiria", dealing with various story lines such as an Emperor, a Siren, and Overseer, etc.

(Album artwork courtesy of Celldweller)

This is quite the elaborate story isn't it?  This is why I have been so captivated by this release.  It not only tells a story like many albums do, but an entire fictional story, artwork, and stories have been created surrounding EOAE.  Keeping in mind that each albums only features a handful of original songs, each installment has also a generous amount of remixes and instrumental tracks.  Who knows, maybe one of those instrumental tracks could lead to your next remix.  Many notable artists are featured on the albums such as Combichrist, Breathe Carolina, Aestehtic Perfection, and more.

(Album artwork courtesy of Celldweller)

1. Faction 01
2. End of an Empire
3. Lost in Time
4. Faction 02
5. Faction 03 (Instrumental)
6. End of an Empire (Comaduster Remix)
7. Lost in Time (KJ Sawka Remix)
8. End of an Empire (Breathe Carolina Remix)
9. Lost in Time (OCTiV Remix)
10. End of an Empire (Instrumental)
11. Lost in Time (Instrumental)
12. End of an Empire (Comaduster Remix) (Instrumental)
13. Lost in Time (KJ Sawka Remix) (Instrumental)
14. End of an Empire (Breathe Carolina Remix) (Instrumental)
15. Lost in Time (OCTiV Remix) (Instrumental)

Right in line with his previous work, Celldweller’s audio pieces are indeed designed for a master Rave setting taking things further with its influence of metal guitars, synthesized audio jaunts and electronic drum beats.

The core tracks are reused in ways that transform into completely new pieces with each careful remix edit session,. So much that at times you wouldn’t be able to tell the similarities from one to the next. This is a good thing as we get a barrage of audio explorations driven by Klayton’s vision.  We also get versions that include vocal tracks giving a whole new surface layer to the instrumentals leading up. -Horror News

(Album artwork courtesy of Celldweller)

1. Faction 04
2. Down to Earth
3. Heart On
4. Faction 05
5. Faction 06
6. Down to Earth (Celldweller Remix)
7. Heart On (Aesthetic Perfection Remix)
8. Down to Earth (KATFYR Remix)
9. Heart On (SeamlessR Remix)
10. Heart On (Mister Faux Remix)
11. Heart On (Clean)
12. Faction 04 (Instrumental)
13. Down to Earth (Instrumental)
14. Heart On (Instrumental)
15. Faction 06 (Instrumental)
16. Down to Earth (Klayton Remix Instrumental)
17. Heart On (Aesthetic Perfection Remix Instrumental)
18. Down to Earth (KATFYR Remix Instrumental)
19. Heart On (SeamlessR Remix Instrumental)
20. Heart On (Mister Faux Remix Instrumental)

It's very hard to describe Celldweller's sound & that's why I am a big fan of Klayton's music. Every time I listen to his songs they take me to a different time period somewhere in another galaxy. I find myself dancing to the groovy electronics while banging my head to the hard synths and guitar riffs. This album does not disappoint in any way. Both "Down To Earth" & "Heart On" are catchy & great in their own way. I usually don't enjoy remixes, but the ones here were much better done than the ones in Chapter One. Even though Faction 04 was very short & didn't have an instrumental track, Faction 05 & Faction 06 made up for it. I'm a big fan of epic score music & Klayton's hybrid fusion of epicness will make you feel like you can take on army of cyborgs & robots. I look forward to hearing the rest of the End Of An Empire soon. -LoneStar (Amazon customer review Dec 7, 2014)

(Album artwork courtesy of Celldweller)

1. Faction 07
2. Good L_ck (Yo_’re F_cked)
3. Just Like You
4. Faction 08
5. Faction 09
6. Good L_ck (Yo_’re F_cked) (Hecq Remix)
7. Just Like You (Tom Player Remix)
8. Good L_ck (Yo_’re F_cked) (Combichrist Remix)
9. Just Like You (Mobthrow Remix)
10. Good L_ck (Yo_’re F_cked) (Clean)
11. Faction 07 (Instrumental)
12. Good L_ck (Yo_’re F_cked) (Instrumental)
13. Just Like You (Instrumental)
14. Faction 09 (Instrumental)
15. Good L_ck (Yo_’re F_cked) (Hecq Remix Instrumental)
16. Just Like You (Tom Player Remix Instrumental)
17. Good L_ck (Yo_’re F_cked) (Combichrist Remix Instrumental)
18. Just Like You (Mobthrow Remix Instrumental)

...the third chapter in this series is titled Dreams, but don't expect any music that will try to put you asleep. Faction 07 is a quick thirty second intro song to the album that has some alien like qualities to it; you can easily imagine a space ship hovering over a field of clouds as creatures from a far off world lay their feet (or tentacles...Or whatever) onto the ground of Earth for the first time. But, that's just my over imaginative mind at work right there.

Not without its flaws, the third chapter in the End of an Empire series has managed to impress me. I don't have any serious complaints about it, and I praise it more than I criticize it. So, with that said, Celldweller, the music cranking machine he is, has managed to impress me once more. So, good on him, and I look forward to the next chapter in the series. -Brutal Resonance

(Album artwork courtesy of Celldweller)

1. Faction 10
2. New Elysium
3. Precious One
4. Faction 11
5. Faction 12
6. New Elysium (Zardonic Remix)
7. Precious One (Drumcorps Remix)
8. New Elysium (The Algorithm Remix)
9. Precious One (Rhys Fulber Remix)
10. Faction 10 (Instrumental)
11. New Elysium (Instrumental)
12. Precious One (Instrumental)
13. New Elysium (Zardonic Remix Instrumental)
14. Precious One (Drumcorps Remix Instrumental)
15. New Elysium (The Algorithm Remix Instrumental)
16. Precious One (Rhys Fulber Remix Instrumental)

The album opens with unnerving and mysterious sound design, as well as the voice of the haunting Gatekeeper, before throwing you right into the action with "New Elysium,” the psy-trance and metal hybrid that will make you ready to mosh as much as rave. As the vocals, arpeggios and heavy guitar feedback begin to ground you, "Precious One" takes End of an Empire to a place Celldweller has never before ventured with an eerie organ and heavy drum fill that both deliver on the tone set by the chapter's title - "Death". -FiXT

"Death"'s remixes keep the energy alive from the very first drop with Zardonic's pulse-pounding take on "New Elysium". From there, the nomadic Drumcorps glitches "Precious One" nearly beyond the point of recognition with a unique artistry, before The Algorithm turns "New Elysium" up to 11 with epic chugging guitar and otherworldly synth lines. The album ends with the incredible Rhys Fulber (Front Line Assembly, Delerium, Conjure One) and his ethereal and transcendent remix of "Precious One" that takes you all through endless time and leaves you begging for more. -FiXT

So hopefully this provides you with enough information to dive right into Celldweller's catalog and see what other great music he has composed since 1999.  I am sure that you will enjoy the sounds and blend that originally caught my attention with this guy.

PS - Check out Celldweller's YouTube page.  He has quite the extensive video collection and a few full album streams.

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