The Cleveland scene is alive and well with many new modern acts dominating the stage. In the vein of notable acts like Level C, Mushroomhead, Chimaira, arrive the dual voices of suicide, searing in Cellbound. This dark, groove act has two engendered vocalists - male and female -spewing forth vitriolic angst on the microphone, and into your deaf ears. On the one end teetering, spitting meat out with anger, aggression, and pure hate is Tom Herttna. On the other side of the spectrum is the nightingale sung, swan song of the alluring Chris Emig.
Cellbound are modern metal, and the music is brutal, heavy, and intense. There are several breakdowns, and punishing rhythms. Fans of Unearth, Bleeding Through, or Throwdown, will probably find some merit to their progression. This is rather unique given Chris Emig's passionate, yet somber cries of innocence and rage. The listener will savour her flavoured, but not forgotten pitch; which balances out the metabolic adrenaline rush of the music, and sonic reverberations.
Altogether, Chris' voice personification, does not really adjust or adapt to this limited form, and staid genre. One would assume her to sing more like Angela Gossow, or Laura Nichol of Light The City, given the femme fatale assault. Chris does emit, and vocally contribute some wailing screams, and unabashed banshee cries, here and there, like on the cut 'Forgotten'. However, her summoning siren shrill is never sufficient enough to encourage fans of the female fronted to openly accept. Overall, her style is much more akin to Veronica Freeman of Benedictum. Chris would be better off fronting a metal act like this, or even a band inspired by Within Temptaion or After Forever; rather than being a slave to groove and grind.
Many of the songs on this debut are culled from their 2006 Demo. To a certain degree, I prefer songs like 'Slave' from that capricious endeavour. The voice-over narration was more honest, and sincere, and thus, less polished and forced, like it is on this CD. I also miss 'My Misery' & 'Wizard Of My World', two decent cuts which could have been included on this album, given its laconic embrace.
Also, on that Demo, Tom sounded more like a blend of Chuck Billy and Randy Blythe from Lamb Of God. Now, he reminds me of every other mad male growler, out to prove his bitterness, and hatred. What does save Cellbound from being another generic Metalcore clone is the wretched guitar noodling, and blistering solos of Shawn Vanek (Wretch/Eternal Legacy). His eternal legacy, as the go to guitarist in Cleveland, adds some melodic overtones, and displays his versatility. The title track is an excellent example of this.
The lyrics maintain dark, grave,, gloomy, brooding, concepts which neither inspire or motivate. I actually know some of these musicians personally, and thankfully, the nadir direction of their poetic depression and unrest, is no reflection of their endearing personalities. The notable, stand-out tracks are 'Dark Grove' with it's Ghostship opener, 'Nothing To Die For' (The title of their Demo), and 'Fallen Angels'.
Sui Caedere which roughly translates from Latin as 'To fall, oneself", later became the phrase, from which the term suicide is derived. In essence, this very well may be an appropriate title for their album. The fallen angels of Cellbound may be committing metal suicide by playing a style which is quickly fading away, making room for a so-called thrash resurgence, and definitely a Classic Metal Revival.
I'm not one to criticize a genre, of which I'm not too
fond of enjoying. I certainly choose to not smite a band for playing
in this fashion, if this is where their hearts are headed. I will admit
it, that everyone in this band exudes talent, and potential. Here's
trusting that in the future, there are more matured melodies, memorable
songs, and a musing mindful misery of pronounced "Beauty and The
Beast" illustrations; and, an insufferable end to the breakdowns,
brutality, and boring perambulations.