by David Zeidler
The newest release from Herzele’s Celestial Wolves is a testament to the ever-strengthening presence emerging from the supremely underrated Belgian heavy music scene over the past several years. There is a connectivity of sonic purpose between the bands of this region, who all place highest priority on staking their claim to the crossroads where the dulcet tones of post-rock and the volume worship of post-metal meet ceremoniously. Rugged riffs bolstered by soaring melodies are the calling card of Celestial Wolves on their 3rd LP Call of the Void. Listeners will find this particular void prismatic, black and deep as a moonless midnight in spots, silken and inviting as the siren’s tongue in others, grim and hard-lined but possessing the kind of heroic fierceness that has come to characterize the Belgian “post” aesthetic.
Call of the Void is a record that tackles the unknown, the aberrations of our world, those things that fly in the face of all our scientific advances to remain utterly mysterious. The Bermuda Triangle, the Bangui magnetic field, the Marree Man of Australia, the Porcupine Bank of the Irish shelf – phenomena that would seem thoroughly fantastic did they not exist before our eyes – these are the essence of Celestial Wolves’ titular void. And like these geographic and scientific anomalies, the void is a concept that draws us ever closer to its gaping and unbiased jaws, alluring enigmatically and feeding mechanically. The only way to approach such huge concepts is with huge riffs and Celestial Wolves brings these in spades to this tumult of ideas.
Capturing the unknowable in sound is a towering task but it is one that Celestial Wolves has built toward for several years now. The perpetually-advancing maturity of their compositional style has solidified them as a force to be reckoned with in the Belgian heavy music scene. One needs only to look to the propulsive percussion and giant guitars that lead the way on album opener “Batur Hvarf,” the vast and transfixing soundscapes of “-128,6 F,” or the dynamic darkness of “Bangui” to understand the kind of multi-faceted instrumental journey Call of the Void offers. For adventurous listeners who like their music loud but contemplative, uncompromising but engaging, Celestial Wolves’ vision of the void is one of swirling richness and vibrancy into which entrance is irresistible.