Music Review—Planetaria

Artist: Celestial Son
Album: Planetaria

Electronic progressive rock band, Celestial Son, is releasing their third LP, Planetaria, on November 4th, 2022.  The album will be available for streaming anywhere you get your music.  In the meantime, Celestial Son has already released four singles from the album, which are available for streaming now.

Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Celestial Son was founded in 2003.  According to the band, the trio sets out to uncover the unexplored and exciting intersection between modern synth-wave, pop of the 80’s, 70’s progressive art-rock, and the 90’s melodic grunge.

Planetaria contains 11 tracks: Rise of a Cosmic Dragon; Fakir (featuring Gavin Harrison); Lord of Karma; Interstellar Intercourse (featuring Gavin Harrison); Sound(E)scape Master (featuring Gavin Harrison); City of Man; Qi; Dawn at the Planetarium; Reen; Negative Gas; and Avian Heart (Gavin Harrison).

The already-released singles include Fakir (featuring Gavin Harrison); Lord of Karma; City of Man; and Avian Heart (featuring Gavin Harrison).  The singles all have official music videos available on the band’s YouTube.

But, overall, I wasn’t a fan of Planetaria. 

My biggest complaint is that the songs all sound nearly identical.  The album is a run-on-sentence of techy synth instrumentals.  There are minimal lyrics—some of the tracks are almost purely instrumental—so there’s nothing to make each individual song different or memorable.  When there are lyrics present, the lead singer uses the exact same drawn-out, lifeless vocals in every track.  He sounds as if he’s bored, and it’s difficult to get into a song if the person singing it isn’t even interested.

The lyrics themselves are uninteresting.  It feels like the band is trying too hard to be poetic to the point that the words no longer make sense.  For instance, the song “Fakir” contains the lyrics, “Use/The escape/And prove/whatever you want it to prove/I must face my fears – taste the lies man/So I’ll stay right here until you realize/You better believe me/Now those fears never calm.” I’m not quite sure what that means, or who is supposed to relate to that.

The music videos for the singles are all very similar as well.  The video for “Fakir” features two dancers in what looks to be a dark warehouse, dancing through clouds of smoke while holding lights.  Meanwhile, the video for “Avian Heart” features one dancer in the middle of a dark field, dancing through clouds of smoke while holding various lights.

The video for “Lord of Karma” and “City of Man” are equally weird.  “Lord of Karma” features the lead singer, alone in a field (perhaps the same field from the other video, but in daylight this time), with a microphone hanging from the sky.  This is cut with flashes of a man finding a glowing tree stump in the forest.  “City of Man” features a man on a beanbag chair playing an original Nintendo, cut with scenes of one of the band members apparently cosplaying Jeffrey Dahmer—or maybe the killer from The Lovely Bones.  Not sure.

I get the vibe that Celestial Son is trying a little too hard to be “weird” and different.  But who knows.  Maybe I just don’t get it.

Check out Celestial Son on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.