Daily Hat Tracks: June and July 2019

Here’s a double Daily Hat Track wrap up for both June and July. Due to motivational issues, I had done a poor job of keeping up on these until last week. And because of that, I’ve decided to just slide the Hat Tracks from July over to June. So today you’re getting one large post reviewing about 5 dozen smaller posts I’ve Tweeted over the past 2 months. Let’s all agree (and by all, I mean just me. I’m the only one in control here) to never let things get out of hand again.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 1 (Yahel – Fear of The Dark (DNA Remix))

 

A psytrance remix of a breaks cover of an Iron Maiden song. Neat. Now all we need to do is mash it up with jazz or something like that.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 2 (Veorra – Run)

 

Veorra’s most popular track is about the never-ending run as we struggle to keep with society’s expectations. Surprisingly not my favorite but still well deserved.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 3 (Celldweller – End of an Empire)

 

I promised I wouldn’t overwhelm the blog with Celldweller again for a while but I can squeeze the occasional awesome societal existential track from the far future of my reviews. This is among the best Celldweller songs.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 4 (The Crüxshadows – Deception)

 

Honestly, I just love how this particular song from my extra edgy phase is held up by the violin. Lyrics aren’t too shabby, but it’s clear what the best part of the song is for me nowadays (hint: it’s the violin)

 

Daily Hat Track: June 5 (Forest Knot – Hendrix)

 

Is this Hat Track late because I am severely disorganized or is it early because this lovely chill sax song wasn’t released until the 7th?

 

Daily Hat Track: June 6 (Bassfactor – The Power Inside)

 

This recent breaks/psytrance combo got me out of breath when running to my recent dentist’s appointment. Bassfactor seems to be brand new to the scene but I’m definitely looking forward to future works.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 7 (Test Shot Starfish – In the Shadow of Giants)

 

Music from Space indeed. I’ve only just begun looking at Test Shot Starfish’s discography and I’m already enjoying this chill mood that sounds as if it’s descended to Earth from the cosmos.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 8 (Carface – Hitchin’ a Ride)

 

Definitely take a listen to the self-destructive 13 minute experience. That’s all I’m willing to say here, other than a warning that this may get a little strange.

 

C H E C K T H E T A P E

 

Daily Hat Track: June 9 (redo) (Globus – Europa)

 

That’s no typo. This two month old Hat Track was accidentally a repeat, so now I’m going to share the vocal version of Electric Romeo which depicts war over history

 

Daily Hat Track: June 10 (Rezonate – Canvas)

 

I’m not sure how, but outside of the “still 18” line, this song of existential pondering gets more and more relatable every summer.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 11 (Pegboard Nerds – Emergency)

 

Hard to believe that this came out over four years ago. Every once and a while I come back to these nostalgic Monstercat songs and find myself amazed at how well they hold up. This one was, is, and always will be a banger to me

 

Daily Hat Track: June 12 (Rogue – Night After Night)

 

Knights on Horseback ride in and are allowed in the distance by a chariot, basically a parade float of a giant Monstercat logo. They get off their horses and flank a crystal throne. The chariot makes its way in and a young man dre

 

Daily Hat Track: June 13 (Aphex Twin – Vordhosbn)

 

Release Radar screwed with me saying this was new, but it’s really a 2 decade old song placed on a compilation that was released recently. But that’s fine. Aphex Twin is always a treat.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 14 (Camo & Krooked – Black or White & Tasha Baxter (Kimyan Law remix)

 

Favorite remix of my favorite Camo & Krooked track. Why? It’s complex, it’s mysterious, it has an edge of unsettlement. And it still uses the lyrics of anti-division and the grey area in between opposing ideals.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 15 (Gunship, Tim Capello & Indiana – Dark All Day

 

Saxophone.

 

Also there’s that music video with vampire zombies and lots of hot people and it’s the best animated music video ever

 

But saxophone.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 16 (The Flashbulb – Undiscovered Colors)

 

A gorgeous trippy song, both fast and slow once the drums start. Piano, strings and a drumbeat full of mysterious energy. Each moment is both unique and fantastically similar at the same time. This song is the best kind of paradox

 

Daily Hat Track: June 17 (Gunship – When You Grow Up Your Heart Dies)

 

I know I posted Gunship not too long ago, but the song immediately following Dark All Day (while not as great cuz less sax) does have a message of trying to hold on to your identity as you grow up. I need this these days.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 18 (Haywyre – Sculpted)

 

Heading back in time today to an early Haywyre song exploring the existential questions of self identity, whether nature or nurture applies and exactly how much control we have over who we are. Also it’s hella funky.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 19 (Pegboard Nerds & lug00ber – Bring Me Joy

 

Probably my favorite modern Pegboard Nerds track. The second half is especially energetic with the best piano melodies and arps. Honestly, there’s nothing deep about this song. It’s just fun.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 20 (Bicep – Rain)

 

I’m reviewing my favorite arpeggiated artist right now, but I’ll honestly enjoy any song that had even the mildest arpeggiated feel. Recently I’ve discovered Bicep and the simple drive of a song called Rain.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 21 (Alex – Demons):

 

Hey, that’s my name right there. Some nice slow synthwave. Good relaxing vibe despite the ominous demonic title.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 22 (Rival Consoles – Amiga)

 

Arpeggiated madness in the second quarter, flawless tempo change in the third quarter. I mean, I love the beginning and end of the song as well, but that middle half is absolutely spectacular.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 23 (Rival Consoles – Guitari)

 

Can I share two Rival Consoles songs in a row? Because I also really like the funky vibe that Guitari gives me and I really want to share this one too. It’s got nothing on Amiga but it’s still great.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 24 (Joachim Pastor – Joda (Worakls remix)

 

Oh the strings and piano on this one are absolutely gorgeous. Yeah all of hungry music is great, but when the upper two thirds (sorry N’to) join forces I expect nothing less than a masterpiece. And they definitely delivered.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 25 (Koan – Coastline)

 

Someone rinsed me of Koan today so here I am sharing one of my favorite beautiful, relaxing, and immersive journeys from Loan. Enjoy.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 26 (Lange – Violins Revenge (Light Mix))

 

Violins revenge is quite simply a track that utilizing the violin masterfully. That’s all I’ve got to say for this one.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 27 (N’to – The Morning After)

 

I’ve always liked all of Hungry Music but I’ve considered N’to to often be one of the weaker links of the trio. However his most recent release is making me appreciate him a bit more.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 28 (Lange – Crossroads (Percussive Mix))

 

Not as good as the Mindinabox song titled Crossroads of course but still a great track about making choices that can change one’s life forever. Beautiful from Lange as always.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 29 (Infected Mushroom – Kebabies)

 

This New Infected Mushroom track released recently really has a BP Empire vibe to it.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 30 (Assemblage 23 – Drive)

 

The demons I’m driving from is procrastination fueled depression and depression fueled procrastination. I must change that.

 

Good song from Assemblage 23 though. A futurepop artist I have yet to introduce you all to, until now.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 1 (Dance With The Dead – Diabolic)

 

It’s 2 in the morning so I should be in the bed but here’s some late night synthwave for anyone who’s still up for some reason. Unless you’re British or something, then your wakefulness makes sense.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 2 (Koan – Uncloak (Ghost Rider remix))

 

I’ve shared a couple of Koan track’s but this right here was the moment of Koan discovery. Yes, it’s a Ghost Rider remix but that’s just what happens when you’re a psytrance maniac like myself. Beautiful track though.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 3 (Lauren Bousfield – Slow Slicing (Klonopin))

 

Really running behind on everything. Here’s a small step towards catching up with some trippy Lauren Bousfield combined with some wonderful strings.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 4 (Makeup & Vanity Set – Implant)

 

Makeup and Vanity Set had a good variety of synthwave, some upbeat and some slower. So here’s one for starters that I’ve listen to a few times recently due to its arps, simplistic melodies and occasional relaxing vibes.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 5 (Durs – Avalance)

 

I’m always up for loving some Spin Twist psytrance so seeing a whole new Durs album. Is quite enjoyable. Good use of that psychedelic pluck in both the calmer and driving portions of the song. Plus a few fun little vocal parts.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 6 (BT – Tokyo)

 

BT isn’t as consistent as Flashbulb but there’s still some good trippy chill in the BT discography

 

Daily Hat Track: July 7 (BT – Artifacture VI. Niente di Tutto Qualcosa)

 

Sometimes I wonder…

 

Daily Hat Track: July 8 (Chicane – Come Tommorrow)

 

Spiritually introspective or existential observations of society… Perhaps it’s both, perhaps it’s neither and I’m projecting. But the song captivates regardless.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 9 (In Uchronia – Growling Earth)

 

Guess I’m in some sort of orchestral cinematic mood as of late. I mean this has nothing in common with that Varien in album other than it being a bit cinematic with a slight bit of dubstep but both are still amazing

 

Daily Hat Track: July 10 (Haken – The Endless Knot)

 

Trying to expand slightly beyond my electronically dominated comfort zone, so here’s a bit of prog metal that I’d recently found. Of course the fact this song has a lot of focus on finding life’s meaning, I’m automatically into it

 

Daily Hat Track: July 11 (Zimmz – Sinematic)

 

For the most part this is just a track with a solid drive, but you know I love me some Hungry music. Not his is Hungry music. It just resembles hungry music. Also this one has an accelerating build-up, so you know, awesome.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 12 (Sokrates & Supersonic – Stardust)

 

I know that this is like every trance song but the message of our relationship to the universe in this one really gets to me, yaknow? Also there’s a fantastic syncopated breaks section in there so that’s always cool.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 13 (Noma – Brain Power)

 

I know this song is a meme of old, but it still bangs hard. Love the extra slow chaotic dubstep section that eventually transforms into DnB spoon after.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 14 (Bliss – La Resistance)

 

Lyrics are a bit more violent than the last psytrance song I Daily Hat Tracked, but I love Bliss’ psytrance style so much, I don’t even mind. Dude is one of my favorite psytrance artists behind Infected Mushroom and perhaps Neelix

 

Daily Hat Track: July 15 (Wolfgang Gartner – Illmerica)

 

Second attempt at sharing this song due to unreliable technology. I’m lazy and pissed so here’s a bullet point list of what I wanted to say

 

A: Good funky vibe

B: Nostalgia because dead community

C: Should listed to Wolfgang more

 

Daily Hat Track: July 16 (Arctic Moon – Cyberpunk)

 

Good trance song with a lovely title as I associate cyberpunks with fantastic because I love Mindinabox. It sounds nothing like Mindinabox but the distorted vocals and heartbeat are still cool.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 17 (Bionix – Genesis)

 

Lots of psytrance I know, but it is one of my favorite genres after all. you’re going to half to deal with it. Besides this one has inspirational speed he’s up to par with Bliss – Warriors and I love that one and this by extension

 

Daily Hat Track: July 18 (Rezz & The Rigs – Lonely)

 

I haven’t really delved into the rest of Rezz’s new EP yet as I’m usually more attracted to the more existential vocal tracks than the instrumentals, but this is the best Rezz since Melancholy so that’s pretty fantastic.

 

Daily Hat Tracks: July 19 (Aesthetic Perfection – The Ones)

 

Surprisingly, this isn’t the only song I know that discusses how difficult it is to fall asleep when you’re too bust fearing that someone is gonna come and steal your teeth. And the other one isn’t even by the same band.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 20 (Stephen Walking – Porkchop Express)

 

Here’s a fun doubly nostalgiac tune from Mr Walking. Not only does it.bring me back to 2015, but the song itself also vaguely reminds me of a video game from my childhood. That bouncy piano is just a pleasure to listen to.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 21 (Night Club – Survive)

 

Beautiful suspenseful paranoid existential music is how I survive.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 22 (Grabbitz – Way Too Deep)

 

The chorus of this song has been all too relatable lately. Definitely Grabbitz’s best along with Better With Time.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 23 (Malecka – Rhéa)

 

Another gorgeous progressive house song that reminds me of Hungry Music without actually being Hungry Music. I find myself enjoying these beauties often due to how calming they are.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 24 (In Uchronia – Asconoid Hyperdelicacy of Heroicalness)

 

The main reason I want to share this one is because the title implies that the album’s titular iron squid is eating heroes alive. The fact that the song itself, is a great fusion of rock, orchestral and dubstep is just a bonus.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 25 (Phaxe & Morten Granau – Lost)

 

Can’t keep me away from the existneital psytrance forever. This one is about feeling lost in the world, though I guess that one was pretty obvious from the title.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 26 (Notaker – The Storm)

 

One of the better Notaker songs. In fact, I say this is the only one that can measure up to his Monstercat debut, Infinite.

 

Daily Hat Track: June 27 (Crazy Astronaut – Sate)

 

I’ve already shared my favorite Crazy Astronaut track on here a while back but here’s number 2, the main synth holds a lot of energy even in the slower dubstep portion. Actually, especially in the slower dubstep portion.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 28 (Mystical Complex – Future Nation)

 

Here’s a psytrance song pondering the future. Original idea? Not exactly. But the music is quite impressive anyways and I can’t help but always be impressed by psytrance like this. It’s in my bones.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 29 (Francys – Arcenial)

 

Evenly driven, mysterious, slightly trippy, beautiful, soothingly calming. All things I hungrily enjoy.

 

This isn’t just a pun on Hungry Music . I legitimately need to eat. But I’m almost caught up.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 30 (Roman Messer & Cari – Serenity)

 

I’m not the biggest fan of breakup songs but Roman Messer had a good vibe anyways and this is recent so I’m sharing it and that’s that. Enjoy if you may.

 

Daily Hat Track: July 31 (Haken – The Architect)

 

And to finally finish up July, we have an incredibly long progressive rock journey through sound from Haken. 15 minutes may be long but the song itself easily makes it worthwhile with it’s variety.

 

As always you can check out all Daily Hat Tracks in the playlist below

 

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4CIZYAQAzctqYqFG89HIv2?si=vNZPS0uETkyobpBBDEAP_g

 

Celldweller – Celldweller Part 3 (2013 Instrumentals)

Album Links:

 

Bandcamp (instrumentals only): https://celldweller.bandcamp.com/album/celldweller-10-year-anniversary-edition-instrumentals

Soundcloud (original album and bonus tracks only): n/a

Spotify (full album): https://open.spotify.com/album/1gStSHuxB1XHGBzPDQHU9w?si=-zbQHTIATBy5VEUPoeVCGw

Youtube (Instrumentals from disc 1 only): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyL2RhXM8konpM1jG5Bb9NAzKiM4Dn4zD

Youtube (Instrumentals from disc 2 only): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyL2RhXM8konPjM_Tww92DcPG2XHA9OfG

 

Introduction: Final round of Celldweller’s debut album and we can put Klayton to rest for a good while as I return to some of the other artists I’ve been reviewing as well as branch out to others that I haven’t yet touched. But first, it’s time to finish up the last third of the review: the 26 instrumental songs. There may be no words left on this album. But I’ll say a few words regardless.

 

Celldweller – Switchback (Instrumental) (6): So, you may remember in the first part of this review, I mentioned the personal Switchback “meme” that my brother and I share. This is where it began. The instrumental for Switchback. Well, it actually wasn’t really as funny until we did it with the instrumental of Unshakeable, but you get the idea. However, while this was the starting point of heightening my enjoyment of Switchback’s vocals, it doesn’t actually benefit from this because those vocals are the best part of Switchback and since this is an instrumental. They simply aren’t present.

 

Ah well, I don’t want to spend too long talking about what this song isn’t. Let’s go over quickly about what the song is. First off, I want to point out the beginning of this track and how it differs a bit from the original. Why? Well, there are three Cell tracks on the original album, none of which get their own instrumental (like anyone wants thirty seconds of random ambience anyway), but Cell #1 gets some special attention in comparison to the rest as its second half is actually snuck into the beginning of this instrumental.

 

The rest of the song is… less interesting. The parts of the song that are able to utilize some of the electric side of Celldweller intrigue me slightly, but the solo rock portions are repetitive at best and they just end up making me miss the lyrics more than anything else. The closest thing this song has to an improvement is that there’s a great bassline that didn’t get much focus in the bridge, but when push comes to shove, the vocals are more important to this song than that bassline.

 

Celldweller – Stay with Me (Unlikeley) (7.25): For this song, I feel the departure of vocals actually lends its way to appreciating more of the melodies and glitches this song has to offer. And the song carries itself poised exactly as it would with vocals. Take the verses for example. In the original, there’s a couple of lines in the song that diverge from the rest (“me who said it” and “me who did it”) and while I didn’t notice it in the original (because the vocals were no top of them duh), there’s a little riff on lying underneath that carries the same energy.

 

The absence of the lyrics is an odd loss as I’m still not certain if they were truly well executed in the original. It could be about the inner turmoil of isolation (which I enjoy) but it also could be about toxic relationships. Why do I mention this here where the lyrics aren’t even relevant to this instrumental. Well, I guess I can’t tell how to rate it in relationship to those original vocals. I am thinking that this might be a slight step down, but it’s ever so slight it almost doesn’t even matter.

 

Celldweller – The Last Firstborn (Instrumental) (8): Oh yeah, remember when I said the original song would have been a bit better if there weren’t any vocals getting in the way? Well look at this! No violently suicidal vocals! Instead we have that wonderful switching back and forth between the rock and electronic that I listen to Celldweller for. And the best part is that it doesn’t even seem like the vocals are missing.

 

Most instrumental songs have an issue with feeling somewhat empty or overly repetitive. The Last Firstborn has so much constantly going on and so much constantly changing that it doesn’t even matter that the vocals are gone. It’s actually tough to highlight everything amazing that this song does, but a lot of it does have to do with the fact that there’s never a moment where one side of Celldweller electronic or rock truly takes over. My favorite parts are definitely the quicker paced electronic portions with perfectly arpeggiated chaos and a great underlying guitar for the bass. Though the bridge also deserves some mentioning

 

Whatever I highlight, the entire seven minutes is exceedingly enjoyable, and it really makes me appreciate how much effort was put into this song.

 

Celldweller – Under my Feet (Instrumental) (8.25): Without the lyrics, this song just sounds like a great journey that the guitar goes through as it progressively gets more intense. And considering that was my favorite part of the original song, I’m really happy to hear it in the spotlight. I’d already gone perhaps a bit too much in depth in the music of the original version of this review on all of the instruments surrounding this guitar’s journey (drums, choir, etc.).

 

The main takeaway is that here I can enjoy the journey without any distractions. There is one point in the middle of the song that pauses before leaping the farthest jump in intensity. It feels a little off, likely because there were some vocals closing that gap initially, but it’s not an overwhelming fault and to make up for it, the absence of the vocals in the end is extremely welcome. In the original song there were some spiteful lyrics at the end that ruined the entire message and left a bad taste in my mouth. Here, however, the journey simply fades out with the same melody the song began with. A much more satisfying form of poetry than spite.

 

Celldweller – I Believe you (Instrumental) (6.25): Ok, so while I’ve surprisingly had a good bit to say about the songs so far, this one is going to be short. I have so very little to say about it because not much in particular is standing out to me. Throughout all the rock portions of the track (and that makes up most of it), I can’t seem to find much that’s all that remarkable in comparison to anything else we’ve heard. I do enjoy bits and pieces of it. The syncopation, the little melody that occasionally appears. But most of the guitar riffs aren’t all that great. However, I do like the riffs a bit better when they’re distorted in such a way that makes them feel more distant like at the beginning. Also, the same riff is clearly better when played by a bassy synth at the minute mark. Well, at least it’s better in my opinion. My electronic bias is showing.

 

Since I am listening to this on loop as I review it, I must make sure to mention that this song loops very nicely, as that pause at the end is exactly four beats. It’s kind of an abrupt ending when played otherwise, but if you want to listen to this song forever, then you’re in for a treat. I don’t even want to do that with sons I thoroughly enjoy though so I’m going to have to pass on that one.

 

Celldweller – Frozen (Instrumental) (6.5): Hey, wait a second. This isn’t instrumental. There’s still that one moaning chick saying, “Let’s Go.” What a ripoff! I demand my money back! Except for the fact that I’m listening to this off of Spotify so the closest I am to paying for this track is the ten dollar monthly fee, and I have feeling that Spotify isn’t going to refund me my ten bucks just because some woman decided to attempt a seductive moan when she shouldn’t have. But hey, if you want to give me ten bucks, then I’m all up for it (shameless Patreon reminder).

 

Ah well, other than that, how does the rest of the track hold up. Eh. It’s a bit repetitive. I mean, I appreciate that it’s no longer oddly sexual in a way that doesn’t even seem enjoyable, but what’s left behind is a lot of empty creepiness in the verses and a simple melody in the chorus with nothing to distract from the fact that it might be considered a little bit annoying.  It’s the basslines that really save this song from falling by the wayside. Whenever, that two-note melody isn’t distracting, there’s an extra amount of focus on the basslines and they give a healthy variety to this track in the creepier verses and the first half of the bridge. And the second half of the bridge has a great guitar solo that’s worth noting.

 

Really, Frozen is a lot more enjoyable when the song itself isn’t about lack of enjoyment. Go figure.

 

Celldweller – Symbiont (Instrumental) (7.5): Funny how many of the songs with more uncomfortable lyrics have the best instrumentals. I mean, this isn’t quite as good as The Last Firstborn or Under My Feet, but the constant switch back and forth between the great halftime groove introduced in what was the song’s verses and the more upbeat insanity that comes in at the chorus. That first section has a consistent nice groove to it with the occasional glitching and the perfect smooth bassline. And then on the other side, we have the sudden drum and bass tempo with great guitar solos and some a drumbeat singing out the titular lyrics of the song (if the titular lyrics were there). Really, this one’s just a good enjoyable experience. Not exceptional, but definitely notable.

 

Celldweller – Afraid This Time (Instrumental) (7): The rewound elements of this particular song make for quite an unsettling introduction. I mean it gets better once the guitar and piano roll in there. In fact, it’s actually quite relaxing, but before that, you have to admit this song’s a bit creepy. And while creepy is all fine and good, the combination of piano and acoustic guitar is much better. Sometimes, all you need for a good time is a drumbeat, a piano and a guitar.

 

Unfortunately, this does mean that the parts of the song that are entirely drums and electronic bassline definitely pale in comparison to that perfect trio. I’m struggling to come up with anything to say about this chorus but I’m afraid it’s just uninteresting without the vocals. Which is a shame because that hampers the good guitar and piano we have in the verses.

 

Celldweller – Fadeaway (Instrumental) (8): Fadeaway’s instrumental goes through three phases. Well, I guess the original went through three phases as well as every single part of this instrumental is present in the original, but it’s much more relevant here as there are no good vocals to distract from the rest of the song. Yeah, that’s going to be a slipback in this case, but let’s talk about what the song does have.

 

The first phase obviously starts at the beginning during the first couple verses. It’s here that the song has some ominous slow pacing. The bass rumbles softly, foreboding the spectacularity that is the second phase. Every once and a while a couple of guitar melodies break the calmness, giving a break to the bassline that beckons danger, but such breaks are temporary until we reach the second phase.

 

The second phase takes all the energy that’s been building up for the past minute and a half and finally puts it to good use with the lovely quick paced DnB. There’s some decent variety here as new instruments are constantly being added and replaced, possibly allowing me to divide this phase into subphases, but I’m not going to do that. Right now, I’m just going to highlight the acidic bass that comes in at around 1:50 and the final few moments of this phase. After all the built-up energy from these guitars, a few short collections of riffs set the stage for the final phase.

 

And after just a couple seconds of silence (thanks to missing vocals), the song enters it’s final phase, one which builds up from a nice acoustic guitar laid on top of on a subtle electronic melody (which was present in the “silence” I just mentioned but I’m still calling it silence). The song doesn’t stay necessarily at this calmer acoustic level but slowly does build its way up to some bits of more intense rock, likely on the same level at the end of phase 2. It’s really nice to have a song build from simple lovely combinations into something a bit more extreme. I call that a build up from nothing. Not the best example, but it is an example, just as this is an example as a good instrumental.

 

Was better with lyrics though.

 

Celldweller – So Sorry to Say (Instrumental) (7.75): As I’d mentioned when I reviewed the vocal version of this song two weeks ago, this song stands out among many of the other Celldweller tracks due its use of strings and piano. Most songs in the Celldweller discography are some variety of rock (be it hard or soft) with some mixture of electronic elements sprinkled in there. And while this song does have some of the normal Celldweller in it. There are some good strings in many parts of the songs and the piano serves as the most memorable part of this instrumental due to their more unique nature. There’s also some odd distorted vocals near the end which I enjoy despite this being labeled an instrumental.

 

Now, I’m not just highlighting all these atypical instruments of this song to say that the rock and electronic parts are worthless in comparison. There’s plenty of variety to be had just looking at the guitar work and the glitched out drumbeat. The latter of which is generally pretty self-explanatory. A bit of syncopation and semi-unpredictability is exactly what I like and expect from drums such as these. The former, which definitely does have its usual moments does step up to provide some a good underlying drive in the song’s chorus

 

So yes, this song does hold up quite well on its own. It was admittedly a slight bit better with the existential isolation lyrics, but it still works well enough on its own.

 

Celldweller – Own Little World (Instrumental) (6): As soon as this instrumental begins my heart starts racing with pleasure, but the only reason for that is because I love the original so much. Because without the lyrics, this song really feels a bit more underwhelming than it should. Oh, it’s good, but it just feels a bit empty. The verses have this cool feeling that’s a bit more chill than the chorus as well as a bit more chilling. It doesn’t play too much with that feeling though. And the chorus is even more riskless. It’s just a couple of guitars playing the chord progression with a beat in the background. When I was listening to the original song I was so hyped up by the lyrics and their delivery that I didn’t even care how simple the chorus was. I was too busy singing along to care. And now I can’t do that. Now I’m uninterested

 

It really almost feels like the same one-minute song played twice in a row, with a final iteration with some slight changes: a verse that’s a bit less chill and chilling and a chorus that’s a bit more intense. It just ends up being a skippable instrumental which is rather surprising considering how much I enjoy the original.

 

Celldweller – Unlikely (Stay With Me) (Instrumental) (7): There are so few lyrics in the vocal version of this song, that this version feels pretty much exactly the same. And so, since I was kind of drawn towards the instrumental anyway when originally reviewing this song, I really am not left with much to say here. There’s a decent blend of electronic and rock in this one, with neither side of the Celldweller coin overpowering the other. It has nothing on the instrumental of Last Firstborn, but it still allows for a nice tone and development… Really that covers pretty much all I feel like saying on this one. It was a good song and it still is.

 

Celldweller – One Good Reason (Instrumental) (4.5): You know what? I have even less to say about this one. It drones on at the beginning sounding like a swarm of bees and then from then on out it’s just an unremarkable Celldweller song. Mostly rock with such minimal electronic portions that are only apparent in the chiller intro. I’m sure I mentioned this in the original review but it’s too heavy and gritty for my tastes.

 

At least the worst lyrics on the album are gone.

 

Celldweller – The Stars of Orion (Instrumental) (8): The Stars of Orion was another song with minimal lyrics like Unlikely (Stay With Me). But there is a difference here. While I wouldn’t say the lyrics of the original are bad (they’re pretty meaningless really), I feel like they do distract from the main creepy mood of the song. The mood created by all of the interesting instrumental content this song has to offer. It starts and ends with some great ambience, and the middle is covered in good distorted electronic basslines that fit a song of this tempo and drum pattern (hint, it’s DnB which is pretty much a guarantee of enjoyment for me). This song ends up creating an environment of feeling lost even more than the original could, making it one of my favorite instrumentals of the album (other than the songs rated 8.25).

 

Celldweller – Welcome to the End (Instrumental) (6.5): Oh no, I’m not welcoming you to the end of this review yet. Sure, this may have been the conclusion to the first part of this review, but I still have to do all the bonus tracks after this. So, I guess I’m welcoming you to the middle (about 60% done).

 

Welcome to The End is, once again, the chilliest song the album has to offer. And I’m including the vocal songs as well. Without the vocals (unless you count what I believe are dolphins at the beginning as vocals but nonhumans are not valid), this song is utterly relaxing. It’s no longer a cryptic story of leaving one’s home. It’s just a song that paints a picture of relaxing near the ocean. At least I visualize it as an ocean. The dolphins and the occasional bubbling do help with that whole thing.

 

Unfortunately, the song does feel a bit empty as it’s trying to make room for the vocals that aren’t there.  The guitar breaks the silence on occasion. But unfortunately, the song has a paradoxical relationship with the vocals. It’s more relaxing without, but with that relaxation comes an emptiness. Perhaps with a more meditative mood, this can be enjoyed, but I’ve never been one to clear my mind. So this one just stands as a good song.

 

Celldweller & Tom Salta – Ghosts (Instrumental) (7.25): And here we have a Deluxe instrumental of a Deluxe track. There’s less of these to go through, but just as much good to point out. The original’s lyrics really didn’t come too much into my play on my opinion with this one, so we’re not missing much this time around. In fact, I think this song improves a bit focusing on just the variety of sections this song has. Sure, there are a few spots where the song feels a bit emptier than it should with the absence of lyrics. Within each section of the song, there isn’t much melodic variety, which is usually covered by the cleaner vocals this song has to offer. Where there’s the grittier vocals, the song sounds a bit more complete as the bassline here holds its own. Except maybe that moment at the three minute mark where the song pauses for two full seconds for Celldweller to scream those last couple words… except he’s not screaming those words today. He isn’t there vocally. That’s the point of an instrumental.

 

But Tom Salta’s strings are definitely the star of the show here. They were the best part of the song when the vocals were present, and they still are. Outside of the bassy gritty portions of the song, it’s these strings that provide most of the variety., present especially in the chorus and before each verse. It’s a pleasure to see a few clean smooth instruments clash with Celldweller’s harsher style. This one doesn’t reach the same heights as So Sorry to Say. The basslines in this song do allow for some good variety as well, not as noticeable as the strings, but the difference between the more electronically focused bass in the verses and the rock focused bass in the chorus is distinct enough to add the perfect touch to this song.

 

Celldweller – Uncrowned (Instrumental) (7.75): Ok, this is just your typical fantastically intense DnB track. And I love DnB so that’s a good thing. Plus there’s plenty of guitars as expected from Celldweller so that’s a slight extra flavor that makes it stand out a bit from the other typical fantastically intense DnB tracks. I do quite enjoy it when rock and electronic collide (which is probably my favorite thing about Celldweller) and this song is once again one that shows off a bit of that diversity, delegating the bass to the electronic side and pretty much everything else to the rock. Oh, but it still feels quite balanced with how much bass variety this song has as it switches between lightning paced DnB and some good half-time that can be used as a breather with strings instead of guitars. The song is constantly changing, keeping me on my toes as I’m shifted back and forth between rock and electronic, DnB and halftime, this riff to that riff. The list goes on and the song is enjoyable the whole way through.

 

Celldweller – Tragedy (Instrumental) (5.75): Remember when I’d first reviewed Tragedy? I mentioned how the song really sounded like Celldweller just wanted to make a cover of a Bee Gees song with an edgier rock-oriented twist. And that’s all he really wanted to do. Make a rock cover and have a little fun without worrying over whether or not the music was exceptional. So, what is this song without the lyrics that make it a Bee Gees cover?

 

Not much. I mean, it’s not bad, but it’s so riskless in comparison to the other Celldweller songs once you strip them all down to the basics. This song is just another track to move on from.

 

Celldweller – Shapeshifter (Instrumental) (7): What is Shapeshifter without its rapped verses and violently misheard chorus? Well, the end result is still a song that still stands out a bit from its surrounding instruemntals. Or maybe I’m just saying that because anything will feel it stands out after listening to tragedy…

 

Ah well, unique or not this song has a lot of good strengths, sticking strongly to that electronic rock fusion. The rock is definitely the overwhelming of the two sides here (as per usual), but it isn’t a situation in which the electronic is completely covered up. The chorus is a bad example as the only thing close to electronic there is that annoying synth which does not help this song’s case that much (It’s only in the first chorus this time though so that’s different). The verses on the other hand have some good little plucks of flavor that help keep the song interesting even without the rapper providing the usual variety. And in the bridge, the absence of the vocals really brings out some great bassline work. I wasn’t quite certain if it was still electronic or not upon my first couple listens, but it doesn’t really matter the origin of this sound. It really adds a lot to the bridge and I’m thankful that this instrumental has allowed me to home in on its excellency.

 

Electronics aside, the parts that are fully rock do truly rock. So, I’m not at all bothered by them overtaking the spotlight at parts in this song. There’s something about the final chorus that really feels like it concludes the song quite nicely. Of course, maybe that’s just because it follows that great bridge… and it is the end of the song…

 

Still don’t know what this song has to do with shapeshifting.

 

Celldweller – Goodbye (Klayton remix) (Instrumental) (7.5): Klayton’s remix of Celldweller’s Goodbye (it’s odd and I’ll never get used to it), is a 7-minuter, which means that in order to succeed, it really needs to have a good dynamic variety to make it worth its time. And that can be tricky to do with an instrumental song that was originally made to have vocals providing some of that variety. However, I believe this nonlinear remix of Goodbye does succeed in that variety. It does so barely, but it’s just enough.

 

The beginning of the song seems to have a bassline that drones on for quite a while at first, but the drums accompany to lengthen its lifespan of interest for some time until the song fully picks up its pace with a second bassline (yes) a full DnB drumbeat (even more yes). The bassline does undergo a healthy amount of variation as the song progresses, but it never gets tired as it does take some breaks to bring in a guitar to fill in the space for a short bit, elongating the time this DnB can reasonably continue. And before it runs dry, the song finally takes a small step back tempo wise and trades the lightning paced syncopation for some slower slightly more dramatic half time with much more focus on the guitar this time around as it eventually distorts its way into a good solo for the ending as the song returns to its creepy droning roots.

 

I really can’t say that a certain part of this song is my favorite part. It’s simply a good variety of some really good ideas. Sometimes, that’s all you need for an enjoyable experience.

 

Celldweller – The Last Firstborn (Klayton remix) (Instrumental) (7.75): In my last two reviews, comparing the original version of the Last Firstborn to this Klayton remix, the latter was the clear winner. However, the reason for that victory had very little to do with the music itself, but simply because the slightly stripped down lyrics of this version happened to strip away the most problematic portions of the song. But this third part of the Celldweller review, changes everything. Because now all the lyrics have been stripped away. Klayton’s remix no longer has the lyrical advantage and now the two songs can be held side by side to determine which one is truly musically better.

 

It’s the original.

 

I mean, this is good and all and I stand by the 7.75/10 I gave it last week, but there really is little difference between this and the lyrical version. I still appreciate the mysterious progression and the focus on the electronic arp that proved to be my favorite part of the original, but there’s so many other things in the original that contribute to the electronic rock fusion that is Celldweller. And it’s that balanced fusion that really makes The Last Firstborn so exceptional. Without the lyrics holding it back, Klayton’s remix never stood a chance.

 

Still a good remix though.

 

Celldweller – Switchback (Klayton remix) (Instrumental) (6.75): Because the Copy Paste Repeat remix doesn’t have an instrumental (for understandably chaotic reasons), we’re having three of those Klayton remixes in a row. If it weren’t for the next two songs, we’d be able to knock all four of them out in one shot (though honestly, I think I’d rather have eliminated the fourth Klayton remix than sacrifice the two songs in between).

 

Anyways, we’re back to the iconic Switchback song, just without the iconic switchbacking vocals… So, is it worth anything? Well, even without the vocals, there are still plenty of elements here that are reminiscent of the original. The most prominent of them being the bassline. Now, as you saw in the beginning of this review, I’m not particularly fond of this bassline. I don’t dislike it. I’m just not fond of it. But here, it seems to work a bit better. Perhaps that’s because this is a more electronic version of switchback and not the original almost entirely rock version we heard earlier. And because of that, I’m noticing a bit more variety in how the instrumentation transforms over time. And that’s especially noticeable with the lyrics stripped away.

 

The song is still missing the variety that is usually provided by the bridge, which does hold the track back slightly and I feel with that tiny hint more of variety it would reach that 7 point threshold, but alas, it shall reside back with a 6.75.

 

This is the last of the five Switchback songs in this entire deluxe album. No going back now.

 

It’s too late to switch back.

 

Celldweller – Atmospheric Light (Demo Redux) (Instrumental) (6): This is the only demo to get an instrumental for some reason. Perhaps the redux means something that allows it to have an instrumental when the others couldn’t. Which is really a shame because Waiting could really have used an instrumental. This song on the other hand… well I didn’t really mind the lyrics from the original (didn’t enjoy them all that much but didn’t mind them), so this song didn’t need an instrumental. And to be honest, this song is really one of the most repetitive tracks that this entire album has to offer. The main electronic synth feels like it’s playing the same couple notes over and over again with maybe a little bit of automation, but not enough to give the song a full fleshed out feeling to it. The guitar does help a little and the strings do make the song actually feel complete for a brief moment, but for the most part, this song just feels a bit empty. Some decent mysterious vibes, but other than that quite insignificant.

 

Celldweller – Own Little World (Blue Stahli remix) (Instrumental) (8.25): While the instrumental of the original version of this song kind of fell flat, Blue Stahli’s version can easily hold its own even without my favorite lyrics on the album. Everything I initially enjoyed about this remix is even better the second time around. I already spoke pretty in depth about the nonvocal elements of this song last week as the vocals were already covered the week before, but there are still some things I want to go a tiny bit more in depth with.

 

First off, there’s the funky guitar in the verses. I already knew this bassline has a good groove when I’d first heard this song, but without the lyrics, there’s such a heavy focus on the deep groovy feeling emanating from the bass end of this track that I simply have to mention it again. Really any moment of the guitar is driven with so much intensity that its surprising that the vocals were able to make a mark without being overwhelmed by the instrumental. But it all worked out with the vocals, and it works quite nearly as well without. Same goes for the build-up from nothing, which was originally laden with Celldweller’s lyricless cries and now is able to have a bit more focus on the strings that serve as the backbone for that track.

 

It’s all still better with vocals though. That was obvious from the start.

 

Celldweller – Shapeshifter (Klayton remix) (Instrumental) (7.5): There is very little to say on this one. I may have bit myself in the butt when reviewing these remixes, as it’s difficult to talk of anything but music after all of the lyrical analysis has already left my system when I’d reviewed the original. And when I’d reviewed this remix, all I really said was that this song is more intense and aggressive than the original. I gave a few examples of why, but a lot of it comes down to how dense this song has become. Every single second of this song is filled to the brim with intense basslines and the like that it’s incredibly overwhelming. The electronic elements (most noticeably the simple plucks and melodies in the verses) have become a lot more prominent, but none of the guitarwork has suffered because of it.

 

I’ve said so much between the other three times I’ve reviewed Shapeshifter (all of which are somewhat similar musically outside of intensity and whether or not there are vocals), that I feel that there is very little left to say for this one.

 

Celldweller – Goodbye (Instrumental) (5.5): Goodbye has a great build at the beginning of the song, filled with ominous basslines (both the long sweeping distortion and the wavering notes) and the occasional melody. This build is the best part of the song, concluding with some a good rise with the guitar as we near the main theme of the song.

 

And that’s about all I have to say positively for this one. This song goes nowhere. This wasn’t much of a problem with the original version as it had some existential lyrics about the neverending passage of time, but as time passes in this version… it’s just not that interesting. The guitar is repetitive and plodding. The short breaks are somewhat appreciated, but I’ve noticed that they’re really the same pattern without the guitar. The melody near the end does provide a bit more variety, but it really wouldn’t be special in any other song. Only reason I appreciate it here is because the rest of the song is a bit bland. And that says more about the low quality of the song than the higher quality of the melody.

 

And as it turns out, because the demos are defunct and there’s no instrumental available for the orchestral wonder that is Switchback (No I’m Not remix), we are actually ending this review, once and for all with a fitting song.

 

Goodbye.

 

Conclusion: Ok, that’s the last of Celldweller I plan on reviewing for a long while. I love the guy, but his Deluxe albums are a bit extreme, especially this time around. And so, after three whole consecutive weeks of Celldweller, I plan on delaying coming back to revisit his discography any time soon. Maybe not even this year. Good album though. There were definitely some rough patches here and there, but each part of the review got better and better. In some ways I guess the instrumentals didn’t add too much content for me to talk about, but I feel it did allow me to shed some nice light on some of the edgier tracks whose lyrics got in the way. Sometimes, you just have to strip down a song to its elements to truly enjoy it. This doesn’t always work though as there were definitely a few songs in here that would have been better had Klayton still been singing, but you can’t win them all. But seeing as the score has slightly improved, I guess you have to win some of them.

 

Final Score for Original album: (6.5/10)

Final Score for Bonus Tracks: (6.75/10)

Final Score for Instrumentals: (7/10)

Final Score for Album Overall: (6.75/10)

 

Celldweller – Celldweller Part 2 (2013 bonus tracks)

Album Links:

 

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 spent plenty of time introducing Celldweller and the rest of Klayton’s aliases last week, though most of them aren’t relevant for this review. Well, Celldweller is relevant because it’s his album, and it could also be argued that the Klayton’s Alias makes an appearance as there’s a good handful of songs here saying they’re remixed by Klayton (which is just a fancy way of saying it’s a VIP or rework). Besides, these Klayton remixes don’t quite match the modern purpose of that particular moniker.

 

That being said, I do believe that this review will be slightly shorter than the last as there are indeed some remixes (meaning no lyrical analysis required) as well as some “demos” (which are a bit more bare-boned).

 

More in depth explanations of what’s going on in this album will come in due time.

 

Celldweller & Tom Salta – Ghosts (7): Welcome…

 

To a new beginning…

 

Let’s begin this bonus content extravaganza with Ghosts, Celldweller teams up with another artist to create a new combination of rock, electronic AND orchestral. That last bit is likely thanks to Tom Salta an artist that has released on Klayton’s FiXT label under the name Atlas Plug. Oh, and I think he might have made the soundtrack for a video game franchise called Hola or something. I don’t know, it has a lot of guns or something. I’m a music lover, not a gamer.

 

I do feel that there’s a bit of overlap between the Tom Salta & Celldweller styles, so it’s rather difficult to parse exactly what other elements he’s responsible for other than the assumption that Celldweller doesn’t usually dip into the orchestral stuff like this. The breakbeat bassline sections are a bit more his style. I had guessed for a second that he might have been responsible for the clean vocals on the song, but I think that was just my bias of seeing a feat. Rather than an & and expecting an extra vocalist (I always change feat. to & in my reviews so I guess that confusion doesn’t translate well here and just makes you even more confused). The vocals do sound a little bit different, but that could be my mind playing tricks on me. I don’t believe that Tom is really the singing type from what I know though, but I could be wrong. It’s kind of hard to uncover this information. Perhaps I should just go with the assumption that there is no information not uncover.

 

Well, I’ve talked about Tom long enough and I think I’ve summed up the music well enough with the little bits I’ve scattered through the Tom discussion so perhaps I can speak of some lyrics now. The lynchpin to discovering what this song is about is clearly the identity of these ghosts. I’ve taken some time looking to see if I can scrounge up some meaning other than the enjoyment of talking edgily about dead things, but it’s proven difficult to come up with a definitive answer that feels like it tightly fits those lyrics. I want to say the song has to do with facing ones past regrets that threaten to haunt us, but I really feel like I’m reaching for that one and when I feel like I’m reaching, then maybe there’s nothing there to begin with.

 

Until one of you reads this and it easily dawns on you what the meaning is and then you message me on Twitter or something to tell me how blind I have been to the message that these ghosts are presenting. Don’t get mad at me. Ghosts are invisible. How am I supposed to see?

 

Celldweller – Uncrowned (6.75): Drum. And. Bass. One of the fastest subgenres of EDM and this song clocks in at about 190 BPM which is an exceptionally speedy tempo, even for DnB. The basslines and guitar riffs do a pretty good job of keeping up with the energy. There could be a bit more variety as much of the song feels rather similar with the same basslines and guitar riffs over and over again, but I think the overall speed of the track (plus the occasional slower portion) makes up for that lack of variety.

 

As for the lyrics, well, they’re a bit iffy. Remember Under My Feet and how the last line of that song was incredibly spiteful wishing for another’s downfall. Yeah that spiteful ending encompasses the entirety of this song. Whether or not this makes the lyrics worse or better than Under my Feet is debatable, as more focus on the disliked lyrics is logically worse, but I feel part of what made Under My Feet’s ending so bad is its context. The entirety of the song before that point had been about Celldweller rising out of the pit he’s in and so the spiteful ending was incredibly unfitting to the mood. This song has no such context and so the entire message of the song is pride goeth before the fall and you and your legacy will inevitably fade away from eternity. And while I think I’d prefer something a bit more inspiring, I think I’m still able to enjoy the edgy side of these lyrics on their own.

 

Celldweller – Tragedy (6.25): So, sometime in the years approaching 2013, Klayton (the man behind Celldweller in case you forgot), was listening to some music back from the late 70s and as he listened to Bee Gees, he thought to himself “huh, this song is good, but you know what it needs? Some gritty guitar riffs with a darker tone.”

 

And you know what? It turned out to be a pretty good idea. It’s not top notch Celldweller. I’d say it’s actually rather par for the course when it comes to this album: mostly rock, with the occasional hint of electronic. There are some parts that stand out such as the rising and falling of the arpeggiated chord progression as the bridge transitions between the last two choruses. An ok melody there too. But for the most part, this song just sounds like Klayton just wanted to have a little fun creating a simple Celldweller spin on a song he enjoyed.

 

As for the lyrics, they do run the uncomfortable route that is a break-up song. I mean, it’s a better theme than the toxic relationship, perhaps even the correct course of action to follow a toxic relationship, but I still rarely find the theme to be really all that enjoyable to listen to and discuss. The best a break-up song can do is rise above the rest and actually be mature instead of the childish whining and complaining I see in many break-up songs. This one is roughly in the middle for me. Oh, Celldweller is definitely showing some bitterness towards the deteriorating relationship, but it’s all internal turmoil. There is no fault placed in the other’s hands. It’s all him and his bleak depression that’s creating this world of tragedy. It’s not ideal, but it’s realistic and certainly not an annoying line of reasoning. Would be nice if Celldweller could find a way to overcome this tragedy that is taking over his life, but sometimes tragedy is all we see…

 

And by Celldweller I mean the Bee Gees because they were the ones who originally wrote this song. It sounded a little bit different back then.

 

 

Celldweller & Styles of Beyond – Shapeshifter (6): Of all the bonus track I’m reviewing today, this one is the most popular. In fact, it might be the only one of these tracks to even hold a candle to Switchback and Frozen. But that’s the consensus of the general public (which I more often than not disagree with). But regardless of how much love I think Own Little World deserves more attention, where does Shapeshifter stand in relation to the two powerhouses I mentioned? Somewhere in between…

 

The first thing you might notice about Shapeshifter is how different the vocals are from the rest of Celldweller’s work. Well, the obvious explanation for this is found right in the credits of the song: Celldweller AND Styles of Beyond. Now, I’m not very well versed (not versed at all actually) on this artist’s discography beyond Shapeshifter, but I believe it’s a safe bet to say that he’s the rapper that gives this Celldweller track a unique twist. But is it a twist I like? I am quite picky with my rap after all as lyrical content is more important than ever with such a genre.

 

So hey, that will work as the perfect segue to trying to decipher these lyrics… It’s ‘bout cars. There’s nothing deep to this. 500 words over three and a half minutes, and it’s all about outracing the cops while racing other sweet rides (not sure what this has to do with shapeshifting, but I’m just going to roll with it). Not exactly what I’m looking for, but I don’t really dislike it either. Really, it just feels like the type of rap you’d slap on top of a beat with above average intensity. And seeing as the intense beats are quite common for Celldweller, it seems that this rap fits perfectly.

 

Speaking of the intensity of Celldweller, now may be a good time to appreciate the striking guitar riffs and the few subtle electronic elements in the verses. I really enjoy these subtleties the best as they provided that perfect extra touch to give the verses a tiny boost of variety. There’s also the overload of guitar in the chorus, but I’m not as much of a fan of those parts of the song. Same goes for the brudge to a lesser extent.

 

In the end, I’m feeling rather neutral about this one. Nothing about it is bad, but there’s not much here that’s really great either.

 

One last thing I forgot to mention when talking about the vocals would be Celldweller’s screaming in the chorus and the bridge. Not my favorite side of his vocal style but it does suit the song. But the real reason I want to mention it is because I want to introduce one common reoccurring issue I have with certain lyrics. Oh, it’s not any fault of the song. It’s all about my own mishearing the lyrics that is causing this odd and perhaps concerning issue. Until I reviewed the song today, I did not realize that the chorus was just repeating the name of the song. No, apparently my violent brain decided that Celldweller was screaming “DIE… JUST DIE!” From here on out, Shapeshifter Syndrome will refer to moments where I mishear lyrics and interpret them, to be much more disturbingly violent than they really are (though considering the tone of those vocals can you really blame me in this case?).

 

Celldweller – Goodbye (Klayton Remix) (7.25): Ok, so this is quite odd. Here we are about the quarter of the way into the bonus tracks. And we’ve come across this Klayton remix of a Celldweller song we haven’t heard before. First off, I find it weird that the remix appears first while the original version of the song isn’t played until the end of the album (excluding the demos which I shall also be reviewing. So, I’m reviewing the remix before the original, which I find rather uncomfortable to be honest

 

Also, Klayton is the same person as Celldweller so I’m not sure who exactly he’s trying to fool here as he does this several times on the album. The song is just a bit more electronic than it was before… later…

 

Ok, you know what, this whole nonlinear thing is really messing me up. Celldweller broke the rules by putting this song earlier I the track listing so I’m going to break the rules and head on over to the last song on the album before coming back here to review the remix. I’ll be right back.

 

Ok, I’m back. Let’s take a look at the remix of Goodbye after reviewing the original. I shan’t be long because I’ve already done the little analysis this song has to offer over there so I’ll just skip that, so you’ll have to wait for it (or read ahead since this whole thing is out of order now). But now that we’re here, we can talk about the more electronic version of Goodbye, my preferred version.

 

Sure it drones on a bit at the beginning, with only a bit of chopped up vocals and some drumbeats, but once the song gets past the first minute of that droning, Celldwelller’s scream allows the song to go up a notch with the fast-paced DnB that dominates much of this song. Complete with some bleeps and bloops here and there, a few great basslines and of course some chopped up vocals of the titular line of the song. There’s some full lyrics starting midway through the song, but they’re really a footnote in this experience of Celldweller’s strength of combining electronic basslines and guitar riffs.

 

This song has the same existential strengths as the original but ends up being one of the best bonus tracks of this album due to the incredible improvements on the instrumentation and tone. I’d talk about those existential strengths here but I’m going to talk about them later in this review (or had talked about them earlier today as I am writing this. Time travel is confusing.).

 

Celldweller – The Last Firstborn (Klayton remix) (7.75): Another occurrence of Klayton remixing a song that he’d originally produced? We’re going to see a good few of these today. Like with the remix of Goodbye, Klayton fully embraces the more electronic side of the song. From the very beginning he uses the same arp that dominated the more electronically focused parts of the song. Except without the strong drumbeat, the entire mood has been changed from its original energetic intensity to a developing sense of mystery accentuated by the use of distorted vocals.

 

About halfway through the song the guitar finally breaks through, bringing its song to its energetic glory. Everything here gets more powerful. The drums are no longer distant. The bassline has a harsher more prominent vibe. The arp has gone from subtle and mysterious to a much brighter sound filled with the energy that the original song had. Overall, this song has some great development in its mood as it transforms from its mysterious cryptic style to a briefly more energetic focus.

 

The lyrics are thankfully sparser and many of the more violent lyrics have been removed from this version of the song. We still have the description of a possible murder scene, but without the bleak and depressing context, the scene feels no bloodier than some of the edgier songs I’ve reviewed.

 

So yes, definitely a massive improvement. Though I think the original would still have been better if the lyrics were absent… Man, wouldn’t it be nice if that were possible.

 

Celldweller – Frozen (Copy Paste Repeat remix) (8): Oh wow. This is a mess, but it’s the good kind. Copy Paste Repeat completely tears apart the song and reorganizes it into a completely different chaotic mess of patterneless drumbeats, harsh basslines and vocals chopped beyond anything else on this album. There is a small portion in the middle that allows the original chorus of the song to play without any interruptions, but the chaos is always lurking in the background, ready to strike as soon as the chorus ends, taking the chaos to new levels unheard of. And while I shouldn’t expect anything clean from thsi sound, the ending of this song is so glitchy and rough that I still thought my headphones broke when I first listened to it.

 

Oh, and once again, like the last song, the vocals I like less (the overly sexual ones in this case) are eliminated from this version, leaving only the feeling of being frozen in time, and since I like time shenanigans, this one’s going to get a good solid rating from me.

 

There is no good way to review this song, but I’m perfectly content just sitting back and letting the perfect chaos that is this track fill my ears.

 

Celldweller – Switchback (Klayton remix) (7.25): And welcome back to Switchback. There may just be the one Klayton remix this time around (unless I’m forgetting something, which according to this addendum from my future self, I am) but trust me. We’re going to see a lot of Switchback in the future. Not any time soon likely, but I promise it will happen.

 

This Switchback remix starts out quite similar to that Copy Paste Repeat song from last time what with the glitching around and distortion of the vocals, but Celldweller hasn’t truly caught the Copy Paste Repeat Chaos, it’s just for the first three seconds of the song (though there are a fair amount of vocal chops), the rest is an entirely electronic version of the iconic Switchback. There’s still a good influence from the original with its bassline, but it’s been distorted into something new with much of the rest of the song focusing on adding a few new electronic elements, foregoing the rock entirely (ok maybe a guitar riff here and there, but that’s almost completely covered up in the background, I almost didn’t notice it until at least the third time around this song today).

 

However, while I do appreciate the consistent electronic enjoyment, I will admit that this song only just barely gets by with having enough variety. The drumbeat has a couple of switchups but for the most part it’s constant (which isn’t bad, but it’s teasing me with those syncopated portions). There are a few different basslines in there, but they don’t go through them and interchange them nearly fast enough. I now I’m probably being too picky, but a 7-minute song must do its best to capture the attention of the listener with such a variety to justify its length, and if it weren’t for the section where the first verse gets a spotlight, I’m not sure if I’d have found this song interesting enough to consider to be on par with the original.

 

I’m probably being too harsh, this song is still quite enjoyable (as all Switchback songs are), and I think it’s a fun spin on the original. I’m not quite certain which one I prefer as this song is more consistent but doesn’t quite measure up to the high points of the original. But both are fun tracks, and both deserve a good rating.

 

Celldweller – Atmospheric Light (Demo Redux (6.75): Hmmmm… a demo. These are often slightly lower quality than the normal tracks as they’re essentially discarded tracks that either weren’t good enough or didn’t quite fit with the albums they were produced for, and so they got relegated to this collection of bonus tracks.

 

As the title of this song establishes, the music of this song has a bit of an atmospheric feel to it, fading in at the beginning to reveal the main melody of the song and then later fading out with the same exact melody. This melody is present throughout the entirety of the song in between, only interrupted by the occasional guitar riff and drumbeat (and those drums are really just there to accentuate the guitar. This is definitely the most minimalistic song on the album, only giving music that’s absolutely necessary for the song to progress.

 

I feel that the lyrics are somewhat simple as well. The focus of this song is the same focus as many of the songs on the original album, breaking ties until one is completely alone and isolated and facing one’s regrets. Not a great feeling as I’ve explained several times in the first part of this review. This one adds in something a bit different alluding to Celldweller’s mother and his hope that she will accept him as he returns to his roots, something new for now, albeit I believe this theme becomes a bit more common in later albums.

 

Celldweller – Own Little World (Blue Stahli remix) (9.25): It’s no secret that I love Own Little World (and if you didn’t know that then you clearly didn’t read part one of this review which begs the question of why you’re here), I don’t believe I need to go into what I believe to be the most positive isolation on Celldweller’s debut album. I explained plenty of that this week. What I have to do this week is figure out how this Blue Stahli remix compares to the original.

 

Blue Stahli is an artist from the early days of Celldweller’s own label, FiXT. This band that also specializes on the electronic rock fusions, though I believe Blue Stahli falls more onto the electronic side, this time especially. It begins with a half time varied rock verse accompanying Celldweller’s chopped up vocals (more chopped than in the Switchback remix but not quite as chopped as the nearly unintelligible Copy Past Repeat remix). The bassline here is absolutely exceptional.

 

The song constantly changes from that point onwards though, getting better with each change. The first two choruses focuses on a more upbeat syncopated vibe accompanying my favorite lyrics on the album. And while the second verse is quite similar to the first, after this first formulaic half of the song, everything changes.

 

First off, we have to return to those vocal chops with some great electro bassline stabs. Which quickly transforms into a new more melodic portion as the song sounds like it’s about to come to a conclusion.

 

But Blue Stahli isn’t done yet. He aims to “Break it down” with a build-up from nothing, an element which has up to this point, been completely absent from the album. Taking a step back with an acoustic guitar and a soft drumbeat that I want to describe as crunchy, the song rises up, drops out and then immediately returns with van upbeat version of everything we’ve heard so far. It’s here that the song truly reaches for its conclusion, leaving me wanting more of this fantastic remix.

 

And so, I’ll listen to it again.

 

Celldweller – Shapeshifter (Klayton remix) (7.25): Klayton asked a question: What if Shapeshifter was even more aggressive and intense? And so, he decided to answer his own question and make Shapeshifter just that in his now commonplace Klayton remix (despite the redundancy of the idea). The rap and screaming chorus have retained the same energy as they’d had before, but all the music surrounding them have been kicked up several notches.  Much of this is thanks to his increased blending of electronic elements into this version. Much of the verses are filled with small subtleties, especially in the verses. Actually, throughout the song there’s an extra rapid bassline shoved in the background that gives an extra drive to the verses along with some good ol’ syncopation. This eventually develops into a more high-pitched synth that stands out a bit more, but it still has the exact same effect. Take what’s there and make faster. Make it more intense. Make this race from the cops along with other sweet rides the most intense race ever rapped about.

 

Really, that’s all there is to say.

 

Celldweller – Goodbye (6.25): Ok, so I’ve just come over here from the middle of reviewing the remix of this song because the whole order of things bothers me so I’m going to be doing this as nonlinearly as Celldweller. Except I’m going to make sense and review the original Goodbye first.

 

Goodbye, on the surface level, seems to have an intense focus on the rock side of Celldweller. However, upon listening to the song a few more times, I’ve begun to notice that there’s a bit more electronic elements than I’d originally accounted for. In fact, other than the guitar that starts about twenty-five seconds in (and then proceeds to make appearances throughout the rest of the song), there really isn’t much here that isn’t electronic except for maybe some of the drums, and even then, there’s some more upbeat drum patterns in there that seem more organized by a computer rather than played organically. I’m not sure why exactly I found the main bassline to sound less electronic than normal, but now that I listen to it more and more, the less it sounds like a guitar and the more it sounds like a more like it was generated on a computer (which to my tastes, is preferable anyway).

 

The song has some decent development, following the typical journey of calmness in the beginning to full throttle intensity at the end (I just reviewed Shapeshifter so the car metaphors seem to be sticking with me). This one bounces back and forth a bit more, becoming immediately more intense in the vocal portions, though even with its wavering up and down in intensity, I feel that overall, the song does still climb steadily towards the maximum potential this song has to offer.

 

As for the lyrics, Goodbye is about the never-ending passage of time and how every single moment in our life is consistently bidding us farewell as the next moment comes into our life. Other than that, there really isn’t much to say about these lyrics. There are some implications that the current moment of clarity may be the key to trying to figure out one’s purpose, which is interesting, but I’m probably self-projecting so maybe I should just leave it at that.

 

Alright, I’m heading back to the remix now.

 

Celldweller – Waiting (Unreleased Demo 2005) (6.25): And so, after saying Goodbye, you’d think we’re done with this part of the review. You’d be wrong. We still have 5 demos and a remix to finish up. Here’s another demo that I quite enjoy as far as the music goes. you likely know me well enough to determine that “as far as the music goes” means I find the lyrics questionable, but we’ll wait on those lyrics for a bit. First let’s enjoy what the music has for us.

 

The lyrics may be questionable, but the music is definitely one of the faster paced demos we’re going to go over. Really, that faster pace is half of the reason I’m enjoying this song (notice the slight bit of syncopation as well, you know I love that combination). Now, along with this quicker pace, there isn’t so much to go over as much of it is the same combinations of a bassline and a bunch of guitar riffs. At least for most of the song. Celldweller, has a tendency to relegate a good chunk of the fantastic variety to the bridge, this one including some nice strings (also in the outro), an acoustic guitar (also in the intro), and a dash of the most intense of the heavier distorted guitar (also present for pretty much the entirety of the rest of the song).

 

Alright now to the vocals and the lyrics they bring to the table. First off, before we get into any of the words sung in this song, I really want to mention the odd feeling that I don’t quite recognize the vocalist. I know there’s at least a 98.6% chance it’s Klayton (otherwise someone else would be credited), but it just sounds… different. I’m probably just slowly losing it as I have been for the past two decades or so.

 

The lyrics are a much simpler issue. Much of the song is just Celldweller reminding us that he’s still waiting. For what? Well, the rest of the lyrics suggest that it’s for another person who is taking the path of least resistance (for themselves) and letting Celldweller down in the process. Though he is simultaneously begging for more time to answer a question. So that’s just a confusing mess of who’s waiting on who. Maybe it’s a conversational song, but that isn’t made very clear.

 

Still, despite the lyrical confusion, I do find myself enjoying the song. Just not as much as I could if it had better (or no) lyrics. I’d like for there to be an instrumental version of this, but I’m afraid I can’t do the joke that I’ve done with The Last Firstborn and Frozen. There is no instrumental version of this.

 

Celldweller – 06-06-06 (Unreleased Demo 2006) (5): Ah yes, the day everyone panicked because the devil and tons of people from every artform aimed to release creepy demonic edgy stuff on that day because of the mark of the beast. Or you could put Elvis lyrics in there?

 

Ok, to the song’s credit there are still some non-Elvis stuff in there. There’s also a few violent lyrics about how Celldweller is going to beat you to a fleshy pulp. So, I’m not sure how that all fits with the theme of Satan. At least I can put lyrical analysis off the table for this one. How’s the music?

 

It’s alright, but I never really felt there was much notable for most of the song, especially in the choruses. At least there was a little bit of variety in the verses with the bassline, but the rest of the song doesn’t really matter all that much to me.

 

I’m thinking this song is truly average.

 

Celldweller – Waiting for so Long (Unreleased Demo 2006) (5.75): Interestingly despite the fact that he’s waiting for so long, this song is a third of the length of Waiting. In fact, if it weren’t for the Cell songs, this would be the shortest song on the album. And a simple one at that. One drumbeat. One bassline. One melody. One line of lyrics (ok two actually but still). This song is so simplistic I have absolutely nothing to say. Thankfully it’s short so the repetition isn’t too bothersome.

 

The song is a bit above average, but it doesn’t bring much to the table.

 

 

Celldweller – Blood from the Stone (Unreleased Demo 2005) (4.25): This song is about a doomed relationship. Yay. Celldweller reveals to his soon to be ex that they aren’t compatible and they never will be because Celldweller is doomed to an empty life with no relationship to speak of. Well, geez stop whining about such a bleak outlook. Not to mention you went into this relationship with pessimistic expectations (Which could be the self-fulfilling prophecy that causes your problems). You’ve clearly got some personal issues you need to work out before you embark on a relationship, because it will never work if you go about it that way.

 

Ok, enough on that. The music outside of the lyrics is actually good. Starting out with a beautiful combination of piano and acoustic guitar is a lovely beginning. It eventually builds up into a heavily rock focused chorus with some decent melodies. Nothing stellar but decent. It does have a good progression to it and the dynamic between the piano and the harsher guitars (especially noticeable in the second verse) is definitely my favorite part of the song. Overall the music in this one is pretty good.

 

But then again, there’s the lyrics which make him such a whiny brat that I have to give this song a lower rating than the nonexistant instrumental of it deserves.

 

Celldweller – IRIA (Unreleased Demo 2005) (7.75): Out of all the demos, this song sounds the most like the Celldweller I know. Some heavy rock to match some nice electronic influences. This actually feels like a Celldweller song, though it is admittedly quite close to instrumental. It has an occasional shout that makes me think he hasn’t quite figured out where this song is going (I could swear he’s saying “Words”) And then there’s the line “I remember it all” (or IRIA if you’d like to use an acronym), which serves no meaning without any context. But that’s fine. That just means the instrumentation has to hold up the track.

 

And boy does everything this song is make up for the lack of lyrics. This song truly fuses the electronic wonder at the beginning of the song with some great guitar riffs and solos, not to mention that lovely bassline that serves as the main electronic focus. The way it distorts as it moves between notes in the track is quite enjoyable. My favorite part of the song has to be the vocal portion. While not meaningful those vocals definitely add some extra energy when they’re present, or maybe it’s just because the guitar solos are giving their best work to back those vocals up. Either way, this demo definitely stands above the rest.

 

Celldweller – Switchback (No I’m Not remix) (8): Another Switchback remix? In my review? It’s more likely than I think. But this isn’t your ordinary Switchback remix. No, this remix is gloriously orchestral, accompanied by a choir of strings that progressively gets more intense as Celldweller sings on about how he can’t change the past moments he regrets. There are a few additional lyrics added into this version. Actually, if I remember correctly, those lyrics were originally subtracted from a previous version of Switchback that was made before Klayton polished the track and released his Celldweller debut. Well, they don’t really change the theme of the song or give any new revelations, so I guess it’s just a slight divergence from the norm (as if going orchestral didn’t diverge enough).

 

There really isn’t much particular to say about the music, as orchestral tracks are often good but really need to do something exceptional to stand out and make themselves worth talking about. I will admit that there’s a bit more of an emotional impact for these lyrics with the orchestral context, but that’s still not out of the ordinary. This song is simply a beautiful conclusion to today’s review.

 

Conclusion: The bonus tracks of this debut album are a mixed bunch, ranging from a few decent originals, a healthy number of great remixes. And some average demos. Is it a worthwhile addition? I’m going to have to go with a yes. There are very few bad songs here and there, but there also plenty of worthwhile additions, including a better version of my favorite song from the first third.

 

One more Celldweller review left before I give Klayton an extensive break.

 

We’ll see what words I have to say when Celldweller has none.

 

Final Score for Bonus Tracks: (6.75/10)

Final Score for Album so Far: (6.75/10)

 

122.75/18

 

118.5

Daily Hat Track Roundup: May 2019

As we transition into the months of summer and the whether finally starts to get nice where I live, it’s time to look back at all the songs I posted in May. I’ve already posted these all to Twitter, but it may be convenient to view this all in one place. So that’s what I’m doing right here.

 

 

Daily Hat Track: May 1 (Nigel Good & Illuminor – No Way Back Up): Second MC throwback of this Daily Hat Track catchup. I’d forgotten about Nigel until someone on MeWe reminded me. Now, I am basking in this song’s beauty. It’s a bit depressing too, but I like a tiny bit of depression now and then.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 2 (Killgrew – Hyakkimaru): Start out the day with some beautiful Killigrew. The piano in this one is the highlight, especially the chords. Though the Japanese trap vibe is interesting as well.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 3 (Karma Fields & Monarchy – Feint Echoes): Been listening to a lot of Karma Fields today and this one is certainly my favorite. Monarchy’s vocals make for a good tenor that I can stretch to my limits while singing along, and the drop is utter controlled madness. I love it.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 4 (Muzzy – Endgame): Very VERY bad idea to look at any replies to this one. I’m risking enough as it is just posting it, but the apocalyptic Endgame is one of Muzzy’s best so I must share it as Muzzy is another artist I’ve been listening to a lot lately

 

Daily Hat Track: May 5 (Kings of the City – Wrong (Muzzy Remix): Continuing with the Muzzy theme, here’s his best song, though Kings of The City’s lyrical content does influence my opinion. It’s a song about self doubt and existentialism and finding ones way in life. That’s what I like. Also DnB.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 6 (Wintergatan Valentine): Lovely driving bouncy Wintergatan track that I got enjoyed a slight bit excessively while on break at work. Just wish it was a little longer.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 7 (Covenant – I Close My Eyes): I don’t even care what the lyrics are (which is good because I’m currently too tired to decipher them). I just enjoy the relaxing futurepop vibes. Covenant is always do cryptic anyways.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 8 (Karma Fields – Who do You Want to Be (Part II): Who do I want to be? That question arises as I listen to this Skylinesque song from the most recent Karma Fields album. I’m not certain of the answer. It’s not my present self, but I believe I have the power to change that.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 9 (Thermostatic – Northern Ambulance): This very short and mysterious beauty ponders the beauty known as life and how it’s so mysterious and oh so very short.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 10 (Scatman John – Scatman (Game Over Jazz)): Great funky groove with scatsinging as always but this time there’s a saxophone. I love the saxophone.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 11 (Scatman John – Let it Go): Definitely my favorite from Scatman John. The second verse is especially a game changer in the search for self acceptance.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 12 (Vicetone – Home (Eminence remix)): Honestly not a huge fan of any of the involved artiste but this remix works quite well. Of course, self-reflective lyrics do help…

 

Daily Hat Track: May 13 (Veorra – Not Yet): Sometimes, you have to concentrate on the little things of today in order not to be overwhelmed by the mountainous plan that is the future.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 14 (DESERT STAR – Foreign Land): The latest volume of Monstercat Instinct was released today so I’ve been focusing my musical appetite on that mostly. Plenty of highlights. This one for example explores some of my favorite themes of the journey to find one’s self.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 15 (Hybrid – Falling Down): Was listening to some of Hybrid’s older stuff today and I found myself rediscovering this groovy tune (which of course has lyrics depicting the ceaseless chaos we get caught up in because I have some lyrical obsessions apparently).

 

Daily Hat Track: May 16 (Aviators & Lectro Dub – We are not Machines): Aviators and Lectro Dub go together like… I actually don’t feel like coming up with a comparison but they’re good I promise you. This is among the best of the collabs. Significant lyrical quality though Paralyzed is catchier.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 17 (Icon of Coil – Shelter): This song really takes me back to early 2016 when I had absolutely no clue where I belonged. I still don’t but things are better now I think.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 18 (Varien & Veela – Supercell): Varien recently has announced a new album sometime this year. I wonder if it’s possible for my favorite Varien song to be usurped.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 19 (Varien & Laura Brehm – Valkyrie): Long as I’m in a Varien mood, here’s another one of my favorites from way back. The beginning of a gorgeous trilogy.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 20 (Stonebank & Concept – Holding on to Sound): This song… I made a video focused on this song quite a while back. I’m not going to link it though. You have to find that for yourself.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 21 (Scattle – Pacemaker): The discovery I’ve been rocking to today would be Scattle’s Pacemaker. Good groove and plenty of hype within the track. You’ll need to get a pacemaker by the time this is over.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 22 (Celldweller – Switchback (Neuroticfish remix): I’ll be doing a full length review involving the original version of this song shortly, but for now, enjoy the absolute best transformative remix of this classic Celldweller tune.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 23 (Sakuzyo – AngelFalse): I’d discovered Sakuzyo yesterday, but that was after I’d posted that day’s hat track. So now I’m posting one of the songs I’d listened to yesterday today. Shoot, don’t have much room left to talk about the song. Um. Piano is good.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 24 (LukHash – Requiem for a Friend):  I know I’m a bit behind I’ll catch up over time but for now, here’s a cool cross between cinematic, chiptune and synthwave

 

Daily Hat Track: May 25 (Crazy Astronaut – Funky Shit 2014): This song with a slightly obscenely languaged title is just a plethora of nonstop energy. Just sitting here and listening to this song exhausts me in the best way. Then again I can’t exactly call it sitting here because I am boppin

 

Daily Hat Track: May 26 (Cello Fury – Tundra): Three cellists, one drummer. That’s all they needed to make this lovely track complete with a switch up near the middle that provides the song with a new energy right when it’s needed most.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 27 (Mr Fijiwiji & Openwater – Growing Up): One last beauty before sleep. Mr Fijiwiji paints some gorgeous melodies with that piano and I remember Openwater’s cries to escape loneliness resonating with 19 year old me. They still do.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 28 (Wintergatan – Marble Machine): Normally, I post a Spotify link as that’s the music listening platform I spend most of my time on, but this song resurfaced in my queue recently and it’s wrong not to post the music video for this masterpiece.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 29 (Stoneocean – Can’t Stand that Girl): I must share with you this catchy melody that I’ve had stuck in my head for the past 2 days. It’s good while listening to the song but it will not leave my head once it’s over. If I must suffer with this burden, then so should you.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 30 (Celldweller – Own Little World (Growling Machines remix): Going to be finishing up that Celldweller review I mentioned last week soon. So you can definitely expect that this Sunday. In the meantime, here’s an amazing psytrance remix of one of the best songs in the upcoming review.

 

Daily Hat Track: May 31 (Robert Delong & K.Flay – Favorite Color is Blue): I not only find this song ridiculously catchy, but I also find it to be a great vent for when regretful anger leads to depression. At least that’s the existential emotion I’m getting from this song. You know I read way too deep

 

Oh, and as always, you can check out all of the Daily Hat Tracks I’ve posted this year in the playlist below

 

https://open.spotify.com/user/beretbeats/playlist/4CIZYAQAzctqYqFG89HIv2?si=Mnl8CDT3TN2jxaJDZLCG7A

 

Celldweller – Celldweller (2003 album) Part 1 (original album)

Album links

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)