King Woman — Celestial Blues — Album Review

Doom | Metal | Alternative

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

With the month of July just gone, it’s exciting to know that the third wave of 2021’s musical catalogue had already gotten off to a strong start. And while August is finally coming into play, the previous month had a few final treats up its sleeve.

While we were lucky enough to receive three cracking projects towards the very end of July, I have decided to make them the three starting reviews of this month. The first of these albums that I am reviewing, comes from an artist that I have much more recently started listening to. That artist is none other than the doomy solo project turned full band, King Woman.

The final days of July saw King Woman arrive with their sophomore album, titled Celestial Blues. And while this album would serve as the first time I’ve properly listened to the band, I do vaguely recall skimming over their 2017 debut album, Created in the Image of Suffering, some time ago.

From what I had gathered from that debut album, the hard-hitting doom metal aesthetic shrouded the album in an extremely dark undertone. The same can certainly be said with Celestial Blues.

Admittedly, I was mainly drawn in by this album’s amazingly intriguing cover art. And this aspect allowed me to ultimately get sucked into the sonic abyss the band has created.

But the thing I loved most about this album musically, is the seamless fusion of both melodic and heavy elements. This felt most apparent on the opening title track, that combined lead singer Kris Esfandiari’s angelic vocals, with that all-familiar doom riff, whilst not drowning out the former too much.

Esfandiari’s vocals aren’t always angelic on this album, however. On tracks like “Boghz” and “Psychic Wound”, we get vocal performances that match the dark intensity of the instrumentals.

Speaking of which, another aspect of Celestial Blues that I enjoyed was the ebb and flow of intensity that many of the tracks shared. I think it was structurally ideal for an album like this one, with the aforementioned combination of melodic and heavy elements.

It felt incredibly clear to me that the aesthetic was incredibly strong on Celestial Blues. However, it presents itself as a bit of a double-edged sword. While the whole thing felt like a consistent experience throughout, all of the tracks don't sound too dissimilar to one another. Celestial Blues is a project that works much better from start to finish, than as a collection of individual singles. As a result, each single does become slightly harder to memorise by themselves, and I feel that this will ultimately affect the memorability of the album as a whole in the months to come.

I do have to give this album credit where credit is due though, for being the deeply dark and lyrically sombre project that it is. Celestial Blues was the kind of project that I think really succeeded in pushing the right mood forward, more than anything else.

Favourite Tracks: Celestial Blues | Boghz | Entwined

Least Favourite Track: Golgotha

Relapse Records

Enjoyment: 8/10 | Memorability: 7/10 | Atmosphere: 9/10

Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 7/10 | Narrative: 8/10

Final Score: 8/10

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My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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