Review: “Winds Of The Cosmos” by Celestial Wizard

Born from the Mountains of Colorado, Celestial Wizard have been blazing new trails since 2017, creating for themselves a signature sound that pulls from the Worlds of both Power and Death Metal. Their debut album “A Sinister Awakening” was released in 2018 and it saw the band bring fantasy and science fiction themes to the table while their sophomore album “Winds Of The Cosmos” is no different, running from Dungeons & Dragons lore to Zombie apocalypses and the perils of outer space. One thing that has changed however is the bands line up with drummer Adrian Lenhart and guitarist Guillermo Jurado exiting stage left. That leaves the group now consisting of the original pairing of vocalist Mikey “Amethyst” Noir and guitarist vocalist Nick “Daggers” Haberthier who are joined by guitarist William Perkins, bassist Kyle Morgan and drummer Tim Gillman. “Winds Of The Cosmos” was produced and mixed by Nick Nodurft (Fox Lake, Empires Erased, Of Sun and Flesh) at Rusty Sun Audio and is coupled with artwork by Dan Goldsworthy(Accept, Alestorm, Aborted) so it feels like no expense has been spared on this one…

Lovers of nostalgia for the days of 8 bit video games and the recent run of chip tunes will ascend the shades of night for opening cut “Andromeda” which beings in such fashion before unleashing the double barrel shotgun blast as the leads replace the keys. That creates the atmosphere and sets the tone for “Revenant” perfectly while the band confirm that Leonardo DiCaprio was sadly not harmed in the making of the cut. Nick “Daggers” Haberthier brings Traditional Metal vocal style to this one with momentary injections of Death Metal phrasing from Mikey “Amethyst” Noir while the riffs occupy the space in the centre of the Bermuda Triangle between Traditional Metal, Death Metal and Thrash. That holy trinity of stylings essentially give the band a timeless sound that is only confirmed as current by the clean, crisp production value. Needless to say, the solo on this one is incredible as is the high pitched vocal moment that is a Power Metal cliché. A guest appearance from Jake Jones of Aether Realm fame on “Ice Realm” makes it intriguing before a note is even played and what the band give us is something that sounds like Nekrogoblikon during the verses with bold gang chanted chorus parts, dripping in classic storytelling. The gagged edges mean it avoids the cheese factor cleverly but we would defy even the hardest of Metal Heads not to be chanting “Roll the dice!” by the end of the first spin of this one, the air guitar to another on point solo will come later. Vibrant leads bring “Powerthrone” to life in electrically charged fashion, the thunderous drum sound of Gillman providing the backbone as the intertwining of the two vocal styles from the double headed attack continues to impress.

The organ plays in the house of God as “Eternal Scourge” begins in classical fashion, the lead guitars then picking up before the hammer comes down and the rhythmic onslaught begins once more. Instrumentally incredible with solos and leads intertwining this one actually puts the band in “Waking The Fallen” era Avenged Sevenfold territory and unlocks the Synyster Gates character, the caustic unclean vocal parts being the consistent punch in the face that adds the weight, grit and integrity that the music needs to carry it home. “Steel Chrysalis” continues that style with less clean vocals and more leadwork while buried synths add an ethereal quality and fourth dimension to the bands sound. The energised high tempo and slick transitions mean there is no pause for breath, so expect sweaty mosh pits when the band take these cuts live. A galloping juggernaut of a song “Undead Renegade” feels like a tale from the chapters of Borderlands on steroids, the band pouring in all the ideas they have into one giant Witches cauldron and pulling from it another majestic piece of the jigsaw puzzle. The leads soar as the story of the character plays out but it has to be said that follow up “Cyberhawk” has the better chorus with a little more of a sing-a-long vibe despite being all unclean and the “bleigh!” moment that sees that one stop on a dime is hilariously well times. Whether the album title track was a call back to the bands former guitarist Guillermo Jurado to help them or simply something that has been in the writing phase for an extended period of time matters not. What does it that the cut’s inclusion pays homage to the bands past as well as looking forward to their future. A magnum opus of a cut with a clever false ending that finds the band switching to acoustic guitars before bringing it back around to the heavier aspect, it’s ambitious to say the least but is carried off in style as they manage to avoid it sounding like two songs sandwiched into one. All in all, the kind of album that if a non believer asked you what Metal was, you could hand them to listen to safe in the knowledge of their conversion [8/10]

Track Listing

1. Andromeda
2. Revenant
3. Ice Realm ft. Jake Jones (Aether Realm)
4. Powerthrone
5. Eternal Scourge
6. Steel Chrysalis
7. Undead Renegade
8. Cyberhawk
9. Winds Of The Cosmos ft. Guillermo Jurado (ex-Celestial Wizard)

Winds Of The Cosmos” by Celestial Wizard is out 20th January 2023 with pre-orders available over at bandcamp

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