King Woman – Celestial Blues (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 40:49 minutes | 823 MB | Genre: Metal
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Relapse Records
KING WOMAN, the outfit featuring songwriter, vocalist and “tour de force of gloom and woe” (Rolling Stone) Kris Esfandiari, return with their eagerly-awaited sophomore album, Celestial Blues.
Feeling compelled to reshape the biblical archetypes that once bound her, Esfandiari has created a theatrical tale of rebellion, tragedy, and triumph – a metaphor for her own personal experiences over the years – Celestial Blues was born.
Esfandiari sets a dramatic tone for the record with “Morning Star” echoing the primeval account of Lucifer’s fall from grace. Esfandiari smugly whispers: “you know it could have been you / so don’t you dare judge the things that I do” – the fallen archangel in deceitful persuasion. Esfandiari is accompanied by the beastly drumming of Joseph Raygoza and Peter Arendorf’s heavy-laden guitar flooding empty spaces with great fervor- masterfully stirring the listener with every sparse, emotional pluck.
KING WOMAN once again takes us to church with hardcore gospel, “Coil”. “Five wounds you rape me / but I resurrect” declares Esfandiari in unhinged jubilation. Esfandiari desperately begs to be absolved in the crazed offerings of “Psychic Wound”, ultimately regaining a powerful reflection of herself after a provocative and tormenting dance with the Devil.
Celestial Blues is at once a masterclass on crushing atmospheric doom, and at times a sobering take on the weightier sides of shoegaze. At the album’s core, a palpable tension can be felt. Acoustic guitars soar before descending into a darkness of riff-heavy distortion. Drums build upon these moments and explode into a cacophonous groove. Esfandiari’s voice remains at the forefront; somber moments lead to burning intensity and crescendo. This ebb and flow is constant.
Recorded in Oakland, California by GRAMMY-nominated engineer Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Amenra, Oathbreaker) Celestial Blues sees KING WOMAN take a daring step forward as one of the genre’s luminaries, releasing one of the year’s most evocative records.
01. Celestial Blues
02. Morning Star
07. Psychic Wound
09. Paradise Lost