Celestial Season – Mysterium II

Celestial Season – Mysterium II
Burning World Records
Release Date: 02/12/22
Running Time: 40:29
Review by Laura Barnes

What does introspection sound like? What does reflection sound like? If that heavy feeling in your stomach had a voice, how would it speak? For me, I think it would sound like Celestial Season. 

Formed in 1991 and then re-forming in 2011 with a (basically) identical line-up, Celestial Season are one of Doom Metal’s hardest working bands. “Mysterium II” is their second release of 2022, so like the cynic I am, I set my expectations low. How could one band release two albums in one year? Such a work output boggles the mind and confounds the soul! And so I confess: I thought “Mysterium II” would just be the songs that weren’t good enough to make it onto “Mysterium I”. 

What a fool I was!

“Mysterium II” is a fascinating album, and a brave one, too. Although Celestial Season deliver a sound that falls firmly into the Doom / Stoner Metal category, “Mysterium II” is jam-packed with risks and innovation. As a consequence, it may be that this album isn’t for everyone. And that’s okay! Personally, I would rather listen to an album that innovates and offends over a generic, people pleasing one. “Mysterium II” demonstrates innovation that is worth the risk. Take ‘April Darkness’, for example. This song is built on the back of a single, slow, blistering guitar riff that repeats throughout almost the entirety of the song. In the hands of a lesser band, such repetition would become tiresome but Celestial Season pulls it off beautifully. Gradually, they introduce more and more powerful elements – such as Jiska Ter Bals’ violins and Jason Köhnen’s drums – that create an atmospheric and sexy cacophony of sound. 

Also worthy of note here are Stefan Ruiters’ vocals. Not quite singing, not quite growls, and not quite whispers, Ruiters’ vocals are subtle and versatile. In the majority of bands, the instrumentals work to support and uplift the vocals; here, the vocals work alongside the instruments in order to build a layered soundscape, rather than a traditional song. This approach works particularly well on penultimate track, ‘The Sun The Moon And The Truth’, a piece of music that reaches a profound level of depression without being overwhelming. Of course, there are times when Celestial Season’s bleak atmosphere becomes a bit too bleak – ‘The Divine Duty Of Servants’ perhaps overstays its welcome a little bit, despite being a really cool concept. However, the explosive ‘Tomorrow Mourning’ and beautiful instrumental track ‘Our Nocturnal Love’ help to set things back on track.

All in all, this is a great and unique Doom/Stoner album. If you’re a fan of bands like Oceans of Slumber, Woods of Ypres, Swallow The Sun and Deathwhite, then “Mysterium II” will be right up your alley. 

01. The Divine Duty Of Servants
02. Tomorrow Mourning
03. Our Nocturnal Love
04. In April Darkness
05. The Sun The Moon And The Truth
06. Pictures of Endless Beauty Copper Street

Stefan Ruiters – Vocals
Olly Smit – Guitars
Pim van Zanen – Guitars
Lucas van Slegtenhorst – Bass
Jiska Ter Bals – Violin
Elianne Anemaat – Cello
Jason Köhnen – Drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Laura Barnes and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Leave a Reply