Bandcamp (original album and bonus tracks only): https://celldweller.bandcamp.com/album/celldweller-10-year-anniversary-deluxe-edition
Soundcloud (original album and bonus tracks only): https://soundcloud.com/celldweller/sets/celldweller-10-year-2
Spotify (full album): https://open.spotify.com/album/1gStSHuxB1XHGBzPDQHU9w?si=-zbQHTIATBy5VEUPoeVCGw
Youtube (original album and bonus tracks only): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnUoeQ45vgmtIWyb40DiweCdge84Y282Y
Introduction: I was contemplating perhaps reviewing this 65-song album in one week just to make up for my inconsistent posting over the past month or two. However, like with Converting Vegetarians, that goal is just not feasible to do in one week. So I’ll be dividing this Deluxe album into three parts, one for the original release, another for the bonus tracks, and one final review for all the instrumentals. So, I hope you like Celldweller, because he’s taking over this site for the next three weeks.
And I haven’t even introduced him yet. Celldweller is one of the many aliases of Klayton, this one focused on a fusion of rock and electronic music. Other aliases include Circle of Dust (the band he started in, though the moniker was recently revived despite him releasing form it as a solo act), Scandroid (an entirely synthwave alias), Feqgen (I am the least familiar with this one, but it’s focused entirely on the electronics from my understanding), and Klayton (self-named alias that focuses on music resembling cinematic trailers).
But today, I’m focused solely on the Celldweller alias, which is my favorite of the five. I’ll probably branch out into the others eventually, but that won’t happen until quite far in the future. For now, let’s take a look at the solo debut of the Celldweller project.
That being said, this review is going to be a bit difficult. Like Ashbury Heights’ Three Cheers for the Newlydeads back in January, this debut album is a bit beyond edgy brushing very close on the line to topics such as suicide and self-harm. Again, these themes aren’t handled quite the best (though it is a bit better this time as there’s not as much glorification of the harmful behavior and thought patterns), so I want to make sure that I take care to handle them well while discussing these songs.
Celldweller – Cell #1 (6.25): Alright so we’re starting out with a short little introductory maybe storytelling track. Well, I know Klayton’s discography does have some vague story going throughout his discography but it’s nowhere near as immersive as my musical storytelling obsession: Mind.in.a.box. I’ll comment on it here and there, but most of the songs can be taken without any story.
And besides if there’s any story here, there’s no information given in the thirty seconds of its duration. There’s some ambience of a heavy duty door being locked tight and heavy breathing that keeps in tempo as the music transitions into the next song (Switchback). Who is this person breathing in beat? This person who seems resigned to dwell in a jail cell?
Oh… I get it…
Celldweller – Switchback (7.25): So if Cell #1’s main purpose is to transition from silence to Switchback, then how does Switchback stand up? Does it deserve the extra thirty second introduction to the song? Well, it is arguably Celldweller’s most popular songs though perhaps some of that has to do with it being the first thing people hear from him on the debut album. I can see why it stuck in people’s heads more easily than some of my preferred songs from Celldweller (not to mention it’s his most remixed song and has appeared in popular media countless times).
The vocals in Switchback are definitely its strength. I don’t often listen to much rock and so I rarely find songs with a rock-oriented vibe to be exceptionally catchy, but Switchback seems to be an exception. Perhaps because there’s a variety of vocal sections within them songs, most of them simple enough to worm their way into my head. And because they can associate together as one song, the individual melodic memories are strengthened by a bond of continuity within the song. They won’t leave my brain and I don’t quite mind. Though I will admit this has resulted in a joke between my brother and I involving singing the lyrics to this song at random points in completely different songs (usually Celldweller instrumentals). This has made the song a bit more difficult to take seriously, though I’ll try to do my best.
So, what do these ridiculously catchy vocals convey? Well despite how enjoyably fun this tune is overall, the lyrics are actually quite brooding, filled with regret. Well, they don’t really go in depth with the inner turmoil, but really, the entirety of the song can be summed up by the first line that doesn’t call out the title: “I made a choice that I regret.” Oh, and also the fact that this choice can’t be changed or altered. After all, there’s no way to Switchback.
Other than the vocals, most of Switchback’s music is less remarkable. Oh, it definitely has a good rock vibe, but outside of the bridge, none of it is exceptionally interesting. That sentence seems to imply that the bridge is exceptional. And it is, for it is in the bridge that the musical variety begins to match up with the vocal variety (only took half of the entire song to get to the eerie ambient section in which Klayton’s vocals are rerecorded to make him sound more like a broken man. And to make up for lost energy, this calmer chorus is immediately followed by a solid electronic drumbeat and a bit of screaming. And after that, to make up for lost rock, there’s the most intense guitar riffs on the song along with the most fast-paced vocals on the song before we finish with another iteration of the chorus (as well as a syncopated DnB paced finale but eh I’ve said enough here).
Celldweller – Stay with Me (Unlikely) (7.5): Stay with Me is a little less familiar than Switchback. So, it doesn’t have super catchy lyrics to help. Also, this one focuses almost completely on the rock elements, which I usually enjoy most when fused with his electronic influences as it more of my main genre (everything electronic). There are a few synths here and there that
Also, the lyrics are a bit unfortunate to follow one of the pitfalls that hampered my opinion on Three Cheers for the Newlydeads (an odd album I find myself comparing this one to but that’s what happens when two of my favorite artists have edgy debuts). Thankfully, Celldweller doesn’t glorify the darkest depths of Ashbury Heights (for the most part, there’s a certain song I want t but instead opts to focus on a slightly toxic relationship. The paradoxical contrast between Celldweller begging the listener to stay with him in the chorus and only ten seconds later he declared he’s rather the listener go away in the edgy screaming bridge. It’s possible that this is more representative of the confliction that Celldweller has as his mind seems to be torn apart by his own mental enemies distorting his mind into a nihilistic depression… Maybe that deserves some focus as well before I go and decide that). this song is toxic
In addition to the external conflict of whether or not Celldweller needs company through his inner turmoil, this song also takes a look at the inner turmoil itself in the blinkandyou’llmissit verses. The first half of these verses seem to resemble some form of tripped out rap as Celldweller is in distress over the intrusive thoughts that push him down into the darkest depths. The thoughts aren’t permanent, but when they’re there, they trap him in a socially destructive state. He pushes those close to him away and is left alone with the existential thoughts that tear down his soul as he observes the never-ending passage of time (which, I’ll remind you, cannot be switched back).
…Ah shoot, I’m beginning to think I was jumping the gun there with that first bit of lyrical analysis. The paradox makes all the more sense as this vulnerable state of existentialism is simultaneously lonely (A desire to keep others close in order to feel human again) and volatile (a desire to keep others at a distance so they don’t infect others with their negativity). It’s still a toxic line of thinking and that it would be best to go immediately for the first choice if you can, because the second choice will only make you feel more empty…
That got deeper than I expected. Well played Klayton.
Celldweller – The Last Firstborn (6): The Last Firstborn is another one of the more popular Celldweller songs. Not as big as Switchback or Frozen (review that in a bit, but definitely on the upper half of popularity when it comes to songs on this album. I’m quite mixed on it. On one hand, the music in here is fantastic, making it one of the best instrumentals the Deluxe album has to offer. On the other hand, well, there’s a reason I hold the instrumental so much more highly above the original, but I’ll get to talking about what the instrumental doesn’t have in a second.
For now, let me just take a second to appreciate the outstanding music in this one. I feel like this song does one of the best jobs on the original album of integrating both the rock and the electronic elements on the album. Hard to decide if it’s this or a certain other song (which happens to be this album’s highlight) that does better at using both sides of Celldweller, but this is great regardless. The song constantly bounces back and forth between rock with underlying electronic and electronic with underlying rock. Neither genre fully takes hold at any point in the song, but they also each get their own moments to shine, be it the intense guitar riffs fused with a rumbling distorted bassline to the upbeat techno progression that dominates during the chorus (though the same guitar riffs are still present if you listen for them).
This song is fantastic when it comes to its music.
The lyrics on the other hand, are pushing for maximum edginess for Celldweller. This song is what pushed me over the edge to decide that this deserved the same warning as Three Cheers for the Newlydeads (though there’s a later song that takes this to true maximum edgieness). The entire song, the lyrics are playing on the edge between life and death and there are several points in the song that really go over the edge. There’s explicit mentions of playing with razor blades and knocking on death’s door as well as implicit statements saying “This isn’t worth it” and “I wish it didn’t end this way.” These ideas paired with the violent imagery with the fast-paced vocals of the chorus makes for what I believe to be one of Celldweller’s darkest songs. It still gets an above average rating as the darkness isn’t enough to truly overcome the exceptional instrumental. I can’t help think of how much better the song would have been if it the lyrics were eliminated. Gee, I sure wish that were possible… Well, I’ll talk about that again in two weeks
Celldweller – Under My Feet (5.5): Alright, time to explore a side of Celldweller we haven’t seen quite yet. Well, we have seen his rock side overall, but this song is a bit softer than the other songs on this album so far. The more heavily distorted guitar takes a backseat to something more acoustic for the first half of this song. And it’s a refreshing gasp of fresh air that allows the song to build back into the more intense rock as the song progresses. Yeah that build in intensity does prevent the song from fully abandoning the intensity of Celldweller, but it still remains rather calm in comparison to the majority of his discography. The tone of the guitar is the spotlighted development in this track but there are several other pieces of the puzzle that help the guitar on its journey. The drums for example start out quite soft and experimental at the beginning of the song before being overtaken by a more prominent and steadier drumbeat. The background vocals also get more intense over time, starting as a distant whisper in the beginning to some louder melodic chanting alongside the main vocals. Really, this entire song, outside for the final few lines where the song drops out to its starting state, i just one big build-up. And it works.
Too bad some of the lyrics hold it back. As far as the lyrics go, Under My Feet is a song of brooding. The song starts out contemplating suffering and loneliness similar to the feelings expressed two songs ago in Stay with Me (Unlikely). This song goes even further into the inner turmoil, focusing on the despair that he feels at the bottom of that pit the mental enemies have pushed him into. Even when he tries to get himself out, he finds that saying he must get out isn’t going to guarantee him an escape (which is true, you have to work for it). He envies those who have found more reason to live than he. He desires to be more like them…
And then the whole message falls apart at the end. Trying to mirror the first stanza of the song, Celldweller seems to spitefully wish for the downfall of those he envies. He never finds his way out of the pit. He just wishes everyone he knows to come down with him, and while I agree that in one way or another, everybody gets depressed, that doesn’t mean those that are already down emotionally should strive to bring those around them to the same level. Wouldn’t the more sensible thing to do be to strive to enjoy your own life? I guess it’s just easier to spread negativity than to take the tumultuous road that will eventually lead to living peace.
Again, this song suffers from good music and bad lyrics. Though it’s not as strong on either end (Last Firstborn had better music and worse lyrics). The end result is the same.
Celldweller – I Believe You (6): Alright. Back to the electronic rock fusion. It’s still mostly rock but, there are a few parts of the song that are definitely more electronic. There’s a great break from the rock at the minute mark that has a singular groovy bassline and some strings accompanying those sick syncopated drums. There’s also a bit of electronic texture added to the bridge at the 2-minute mark. Other than that, the song only takes a break from the rock portions for a quick moment before the chorus (harkening back to the chiller emotion at the beginning of the last song). Without the electronic elements, the song is pretty ok. It doesn’t have too much to offer for most of the song. The short melody played right before the chorus is understandably involved in the chorus but other than that the song is just alright.
The lyrics are a bit more cryptic than usual. The main theme is certainly blind faith, but whether or not the faith is a good thing is somewhat uncertain. He keeps saying it’s alright, but he might be somewhat of an unreliable narrator, manipulated by the one he trusts…
That sounds like something Celldweller would do. He can be a bit toxic sometimes, especially in his early days.
Celldweller – Frozen (5.75): Frozen is another powersong in Celldweller’s debut. Not quite as popular as Switchback, but still quite iconic to his discography. Not only is it not as well-liked with the general public, it’s not quite as well-liked by myselg. While Switchback had some great dynamic portions near the end, Frozen is pretty much the same throughout. Now the sameness of Frozen is better than the lowest in Switchback I’ll admit it. The slower syncopated tempo works quite well and there’s some decent simple electronic melodies that are present throughout. There is a bit of variation at the bridge again like there was in Switchback, but it isn’t unique enough to capture my attention like the woman in this song captures Celldweller’s attention.
The lyrics are… weird. The more I listen to it the more sexual it gets. The whole tone of this song with the little side female vocals (let’s go) to more obvious declarations of open legs. I think I was just distracted the first time in this song by the “frozen point in time” line (I love weird time shenanigans), that I didn’t realize the true seductive nature of this song… I kind of prefer time shenanigans. Sex is a much less interesting topic in my opinion. Plus, there’s a weird darker vibe to the song, that makes the whole scene fee lifeless, cold, frozen. And I’m pretty sure that’s not quite the mood you want to set for possibly reproductive activities.
Celldweller – Symbiont (5.75): It’s funny how some of the best musical songs have the most uncomfortable lyrics. This isn’t quite to the level of The Last Firstborn (which was the perfect fusion of the pillars of Celldweller’s style) but there’s still several great parts of the song. This song, while almost entirely rock-focused consistently bounces back and forth between the quicker syncopated tempos in the introductions and the slower half-time section in the verses and chorus of “dancing on a thin line.” Not to mention the guitar in the first prechorus, which while not complex perfectly matches the energy that Celldweller commits to for a good portion of the song.
Unfortunately, these lyrics are rather disappointing. We’re back to the toxic relationship themes. Never really understood why this is such a popular theme. If you hate the person, you’re romantically involved with then such a relationship should be ended, not glorified. If Celldweller wants to go, then he doesn’t have to stay. Really, the entire idea of staying in a toxic relationship is a bad trend in lyrics that needs to phase out, but it seems to be a theme we’re stuck with.
Unless of course we take the route I took with Stay with Me and transform this toxic relationship into a much more interesting struggle. A struggle of self. Oh, it’s still a toxic dynamic, but at least the resistance of leaving is a bit more understandable. It’s increasingly difficult to separate the core of one’s self from the toxic pieces of our identity that we’d rather be rid of. How can you stop feeding the symbiont of your soul when it’s constantly sucking the life out of the more beneficial (or at least benign) parts of your soul.
Of course, I’m probably reading too deep into the internal struggle side of things and partaking in a confirmation bias to appreciate the song more than I would otherwise.
Celldweller – Afraid this Time (8): Back to the chiller side of Celldweller. This song begins with a rather trippy intro but soon develops into some of highest quality chill this album has to offer. My guess is that the combination of the acoustic guitar and the piano has something to do with my enjoyment. Plus, a bit of electronic bass to give it a slight bit more energy without overbearing the calmer mood that the rest of the song demonstrates (at least for the first half). There’s also a rather enjoyable glitchy effect on the vocals that gives the song the perfect amount of unsettling for a song about fear.
The song does get a bit more intense in the second half as the tempo increases a bit and the wobbly bass does eventually take the spotlight, but it doesn’t necessarily feel intrusive. And the bridge definitely gives a great spotlight on the harder side of the guitar to contrast with the acoustic melodies from earlier. While I think I do enjoy the first half of the song a bit better, the second half does work just as well.
As for the lyrics, it’s a bit more cryptic than the usual adapting a vague message if any. But that might work for the song. It seems that there are some references to a dichotomy between struggling to overcome one’s fears and realizing that no matter what you do, the fears will continue to linger. The singer repeatedly mentions that he’s afraid, but he also makes sure to make it clear that his undefined opponent (be it person, problem or idea) can no longer touch him. Honestly this is a great balanced message admitting that fear isn’t easily eliminated but it doesn’t have to rule one’s life.
Celldweller – Fadeaway (8.5): Now this song has an interesting variety to it. My favorite songs on this album either switch back and forth between either electronic and rock vibes or between the calmer acoustic sound and the harsher distorted guitar sections. This song, for the most part relies on the latter though there a few very welcome electronic instruments added in there (as that’s my preferred genre). I think I’ll go more in depth on the variety when I review the instrumentals of this album (there’s a DnB portion so you know I like it), but for now, I feel it is necessary to mention the relationship between the vocals and the music in the first section of this song.
The most evident relationship between these two is the way the song switches back in forth in intensity depending on which mood the verses at the beginning are displaying at any given moment. If we’re looking at the cleaner vocals, the song takes a step back and focuses just on the underlying bassline. But when the song switches back and forth to the more intense distorted vocals, the music follows suit adding some great guitar solos into the mix. This is once again reflected in the song’s coda as the first three lines focus on some gritty vocals with a rock backing to back it, but that last cleaner line begins just as everything else ends. Making a satisfying conclusion to the song.
Also, worth mentioning are the two stylistic bridges that give a quick break form the rest of the song. The first concentrating on the quickest electronic syncopated tempo of the song (you know I like DnB) and the second focusing on an acoustic section that resembles many of the other calmer songs this album has to offer. You could actually consider said bridge to be a build-up from nothing thought it doesn’t seem to reach the same intense heights as the rest of the album contains. It’s worth noting that again the intense bridge contains lyrics of a more intense gritty variety , while the second bridge focuses a lot more of the calmer cleaner vocals
But enough of talking about vocals and their relationships with the rest of the song, what message are these lyrics explaining. Well, fadeaway sounds rather defeatist which is a slight bit of a shame as any moment in the song that doesn’t focus on the nihilism connected to ones flaws, there’s a very humble bit of inspiration there. First, there’s the admittance of the flaws are there and they present the duality of isolating ones self to hide ones flaws (only friend) and getting caught in ones flaws until they overwhelm one’s life (worst enemy). While the balance of this song does tip towards the negativity, there does seem to be a humble bit of positivity in there that allows for a nontoxic self-reflection.
But you know what sometimes, that’s just the way the mind acts. Sure, it isn’t healthy to assume that life is over and done as soon as you realize your flaws. But definitely is a relatable feeling. Just don’t stay there forever.
Celldweller – Cell #2 (6.25): Another short Cell song. This one being an intermission rather than an introduction. There’s much less visual ambience in this one as it just focuses on being overly creepy while giving a bit of narration on feeling lost and trapped within this cell that serves as the main theme of this album. One’s sense of self and memories of the past can become distorted when one traps themselves in negativity. Had joy ever existed? Will it ever exist again? The hope is that the answer to that last question is yes
Celldweller – So Sorry to Say (8): What makes So Sorry to Say unique within the Celldweller discography (or at least within this album) is definitely its incorporation of strings. From the very beginning of the song the strings hog the spotlight whenever they’re present. There’s some points where it holds equal ground with a piano, but other than that, any instrument that attempts to stand out while the strings are in place will merely be pushed back into the background by the superior instrument.
However, the strings don’t stay relevant for the entire song. For example, there’s a few points in the song (1 minute mark, 2.5 minute mark and 4 minute mark respectively), that have an incredible focus on the more electronic side of Celldweller. Seeing that electronic is my preference and that these sections also include some syncopation, it’s clear that I find these parts of the song to be rather enjoyable. During these sections the song switches back and forth between using a wobbly bassline and giving some silence (for lyrics in the former two sections). However, it’s just that wobbly electronic bassline that goes silent. There’s also a bass guitar that picks up the slack, present throughout each section in its entirety.
There are also a few rock portions intermittent throughout the song in between those favorite upbeat syncopation sections. Most strikingly is the intensity that this song decides to use as we build up for that final syncopated section. I don’t have especially much to say about this short little rock section. Just wanted to highlight its greatness that the rock has for a grand finale (before the song takes a step back into the minimalism with just the drums, strings and pianos backing up the vocals (no basslines of any sort, guitar or otherwise).
So that’s plenty of focus on the music, what do I feel about these lyrics. This song seems to follow some of the main themes of this album, depression and isolation, especially that last one. Throughout the song, Celldweller questions why he pushes away those he cares about, especially during his most desperate times. It’s a paradox that’s highlighted quite well Ii this song’s chorus as Celldweller constantly switches back and forth between begging the person in question to leave him before his depression infects their mood, while also begging them to stay as he needs them for support. A paradox that plagues many depressed moments.
Yeah, both this and Stay with Me (Unlikely had the same theme, but there’s no reason that there can’t be two songs about this conflict of emotions. And I think I like this one better anyways thanks to musical enjoyment.
Celldweller – Own Little World (9): There’s always one song on an album that just sticks out above the rest, and when it comes to Celldweller’s self-titled debut album, this is clearly that song. It has great quick -paced DnB vibes as far as the tempo goes, as well as a decent fusion of electronic and rock (though rock clearly takes the forefront this time). And while that’s not my main genre, it’s still well executed, and the electronic influences give it enough flavor to stand out among many of the other mostly rock tracks on the album.
Plus, there’s some things in this song that are quite unique. The vocal manipulation provide for a great variety compared to the simple dichotomy between clean and gritty most songs have. Now there’s simple distortion as well as robotic distortion. And there’s also two levels of gritty vocals, so that makes for at least five different vocal accents within the song. I say at least, because there’ possibly one or two more I missed, I think there’s some whispers in the second half of the chorus, but I’m not certain.
Ah well, it doesn’t matter exactly how the vocals are presented (though again, the variety is appreciated). What truly matters to me is the message the vocals present. And this one follows the theme of isolation in a much more confident manner, with no hint of negativity within its chorus and only minimal struggles within the verses, though those mostly serve as a drive to creating one’s own little world, a state of mind that one can use to escape the chaos that plagues life as long as you let it take a hold. But slipping into a world of peace and attempting to let it become one’s reality can provide a chance to improve one’s life greatly. Of course, use of one’s own little world must be used as a rest more than a permanent escape (stagnancy is not a healthy way to escape the chaos), but there’s still something quite invigorating about finding an escape from the chaos (my personal escape is music and writing, which is somewhat why I created this blog in the first place).
Celldweller – Unlikely (Stay With Me) (7): Huh. The title of this song seems oddly familiar. As does the guitar riff at the beginning, though I think that those two familiarities are for entirely different reasons. Well, within context of this album review the title situation is quite obvious. About half the album ago, there was another song titled Stay with Me (Unlikely). So, don’t get them confused. Stay with Me (Unlikely and Unlikely (Stay With Me) are two entirely different songs
As for the guitar riff at the beginning of the song, I can’t help but feel like the familiarity has to do with the similarities between this riff and the one at the beginning of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. Am I going crazy? I had this same issue with Ashbury Heights’ Penance and Megalovania a while back, though at least this similarity makes sense as the famous song in question (Smells Like Teen Spirit) was released over a decade before the song in my review (Unlikely (Stay with Me)). Still, it feels weird to notice this connection.
Anyway, onto reviewing the actual song, the title does indicate that this song is somewhat of a twisted reprise of Stay with Me (Unlikely). I can see somewhat of a resemblance. There are some similar themes with the paradox of desiring company and also desiring time alone. And I believe this version rips its lyrics directly from the chorus of the former. The only thing is it omits a good chunk of those lyrics and twists what’s left around before resinging them. So while this song is certainly connected to Stay with Me (Unlikely), it feels like a completely different song.
But this different song is certainly a good one, complete with a good simple, apparently Nirvana-esque guitar riff (both of a rock and acoustic variety), a few vocal chops here and there, and a decent section near the end involving some heavier guitar riffs and a simple electronic synth melody, painting a simple picture of the line between rock and electronic that Celldweller strides upon.
No lyrical analysis here, just go back to Stay With Me (Unlikely) as I’d just repeat myself if I took a shot here.
Celldweller – One Good Reason (1.5): Alright, it looks like it’s time for some extreme rock with some screaming vocals. Nothing clean and clear here. How do I feel about that? Well, if I’m being perfectly honest, I’m not a fan and it does hurt this song a slight bit more than it would if the song was a bit cleaner. Don’t get me wrong, the high tempo and the overall incredibly intense tone does have its upsides. It’s just a little bit too much here.
And the lyrics? Well, this is the edgiest most suicidal song on the album, and I am not at all a fan of that theme. Gets straight to the point. The singer can’t think of one good reason to continue living. I’m really not sure what else to say about the song itself. It’s a toxic mindset and it refuses to budge from that. I think I’ve made my stance against suicide clear in previous reviews (several times in Three Cheers for the Newlydeads. There’s always potential in the future, regardless of the lot one’s given in the present. That’s my reason. And I believe it’s a rather good one.
Celldweller – The Stars of Orion (7): The Stars of Orion is… a different song. Not saying it’s bad. I actually quite enjoy it, but it really doesn’t fit at all within this album, perhaps even within Celldweller’s entire discography. Now, I feel the main factor that separates this from most of Celldweller’s works is how instrumental it is. I’m of course not counting all of the Instrumentals Celldweller places on his Deluxe albums. Those are an entirely different story and even this song has an instrumental version later on, as there are some minimal lyrics but they blend in a bit with the creepy atmosphere this song provides.
Lyrics aside, this song is entirely about the atmosphere it creates anyway. Two unique lines of lyrics aren’t going to change anything. Here let me quickly wrap them up: this song is about going far away… that’s it. Congratulations. You now understand what this son is about. You might not know of the ambient environment this song creates as the vocals set in. You might not know of the edgy DnB drumbeat that overtakes the song soon after it starts. You might not know of the guitar riff that continuously brings the drums in and out of focus. You might not know of the song’s conclusion resembling atmospheric bookend to match the song’s introduction
But at least you know that this song is about going far away do there’s that.
Celldweller – Cell #3 (6.5): The Cell door opens.
Our Celldweller awakens from torturous slumber
Forever wounded, voice distorted to a state of inhuman lack of emotion
The end is near.
Celldweller – Welcome to the End (6.75): The end is here.
Welcome to The End slows down for its ending, making it the only song that’s truly calming the entire way through. Kind of strange to hear Celldweller without all of the heavy energetic guitars and basslines, but then again, that’s what the entirety of his Offworld album is like (which contains one of my favorite songs of all time, but we’ll talk about that one far into the future). This song takes on an almost entirely ambient vibe with what I believe are the sounds of whales accompanying the simple drumbeat and occasional guitar melody. It’s quite an interesting and refreshing vibe compared to the rest of the album.
Continuing off of the desire to “go someplace far away from here” from Stars of Orion, this song is a song of leaving. A song that continues that desire to leave the present behind and look to the future. This song ads a few more lyrics to surround that idea, albeit those lyrics are a little bit cryptic in their connection to going far from here. So, I wouldn’t say this one goes more in depth. More like it attaches a strange love story plotline in which one lover welcomes the other home before they embark on a journey, leaving their home behind. Their destination is unclear, though it sounds like the destination isn’t the purpose.
The purpose is to escape.
Because there is a voice. A small whisper. But even the smallest whisper can hold all the destruction required to break a man.
“Welcome to the End”
Conclusion: Or that would be the end, if the deluxe album didn’t have 18 more songs and a couple dozen instrumentals to go through. But I think this is a good place to stop for now. Celldweller is a divisive album for me, maybe not to the level as Three Cheers cor the Newlydeads (overdone comparison is overdone), but it does have a mixture of some fantastic songs and some songs that suffer greatly from their lyrics. But most of the album resides in the middle of that range between 5 and 7.
Anyways, join me next time as I tear into a few bonus songs added into the deluxe version of the album (released ten years later), as well as some remixes of the most iconic songs and a few demos of tracks that hadn’t quite made it into the public prior.
Final Score: (6.5/10)