Praeter Caelestis

Ghost of Gods

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As black metal has been both more widespread and more grandiose over time -- the increasing emphases on symphonic moves alone could probably employ more than a few full orchestras if synths and computers didn't help -- it follows that any number of variations can be found worldwide. America's Praeter Caelestis are no less sharp in that regard, and the song titles of Ghost of Gods prove it, with typical titles including "The Bloodletting of Heaven" and "A Death Unto Eternity," not to mention a label name referencing the work of H.P. Lovecraft. The group falls into the range of artists who know their inspirations very well and essentially re-create their impact rather than introduce new twists to it, so anyone knowing their Emperor and Immortal won't be surprised at the doomy dreaminess of the keyboards, the hyperactive rhythms, and the slurred growls of the singing. Neither do elements like the gentler guitar chimes and female vocals beginning "Whispers of Cataleptic Transcendence" upset the expected order of things, attractive as they are nonetheless. But if Praeter Caelestis are not yet adding to the development of the form beyond enthusiastic re-creation, they have the right spirit nonetheless, knowing that there's never anything wrong with the exquisite bombast the style is so perfectly known for.

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