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DMP Vault – Part III, "Cursed, Scarred…"

DMP Vault – Part III, "Cursed, Scarred…"

Inspired by anti-Christianity, darkness, occultism and misanthropy, the second wave of Black Metal sparked its torch in the dark and cold wastelands of Norway during the early 1990s, with legendary bands like DARKTHRONE, EMPEROR, ULVER and MAYHEM lifting the gate to embroil the masses for years to come.

Representing an ongoing source of danger to authoritative standards, the genre has never shied away from uproar and has remained a vital ring in the extreme metal scene regardless of the changes caused by time. The past remains very much alive.

For the third part of the DMP archival series (see here: Part I, Part II), we are revisiting CELESTIAL BLOODSHED's 2008 debut album "Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed".

Listen here:

Fast forward to the 2000s, an arcane rite was once again initiated in Norway, specifically the city of Trondheim (historically named Nidaros). A tight-knit faction of likeminded musicians created what became known as 'Nidrosian Black Metal', a label only used for projects within the circle. The scene's notoriety grew with each year, in large part due to one of the Nidrosian scene's biggest gospelers, Ole, of the record label Terratur Possessions - a key lynchpin in the scene's expansion and a protagonist in the story of today's Vault entry CELESTIAL BLOODSHED.

There's a certain expectation that comes with Nidrosian acts – which include MARE, KAOSRITUAL, ONE TAIL ONE HEAD, SELVHAT and BLACK MAJESTY – an atmosphere and style of songwriting which sets the scene apart. Nidrosian Black Metal is branded by its harshness, intensity and mercilessness. No solace, no peace and no quiet. Today's Vault album perfectly embodies these characteristics.

CELESTIAL BLOODSHED was there at the very beginning of Nidrosian Black Metal, with 2001 demo "Mitt rike" (My Realm) foreshadowing a pivotal role in the scene to come. 15 years ago, DMP had the privilege to further cement the band's position with the release of their first full-length album – "Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed".

2008's "Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed" is the epitome of Nidrosian identity. The very first notes on the album are truly eerie and brilliantly arranged to establish the hostile atmosphere which is an underlying base throughout the entire album.

The sounds of every instrument are skillfully intertwined to invoke an emotional response: the galloping drums, pestilent guitars and constant rhythmic changes leave the listener with little breathing space. The instruments are perfectly complemented by harrowing screams of emotion and anguish from vocalist Steingrim Torson. The intense vision comes to life through the creative energy of all the band members, however the ardor due to Steingrim's presence makes this release beyond comparison. His compelling and enticing qualities lead the listener through deeper and darker paths.

The production perfectly amplifies the grim eeriness - appropriately murky and drenched in distortion, creating atmosphere without making the instruments indistinguishable. The result is a truly memorable album powered by a demonic intensity, incredibly unsettling in the best possible way.

As a result of unfortunate events, the scene was left bereaved in 2009 with Steingrim's tragic and untimely passing, forcing the band to end its endeavor. Despite the limited discography, CELESTIAL BLOODSHED remains one of the finest outfits generated by the Nidrosian scene. While grounded in sounds of the genre's past, "Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed" still manages to feel fresh, distinctive and unparalleled. Thanks to Terratur Possessions, reissues of this monumental album are still available.

We contacted original band member and composer Wraath (BEHEXEN, DARVAZA, RITUAL DEATH) to discuss CELESTIAL BLOODSHED's legendary debut album:

Q: You co-founded CELESTIAL BLOODSHED and were involved in this band since the very beginning. Could you tell us about the path taken by this artistic collective leading up to the debut "Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed"?

Well, looking back I guess these days were quite intense, frustrating and chaotic! But I believe that was just fuel to the fire that in the end became CELESTIAL BLOODSHED as we know it. The struggle and frustration just forged stronger will, satanic mindset and weeded out the weak. And within those years strong alliances and brotherhoods also came to happen. Important years both for C.B. but also for me personally, as this was where I truly found my calling and acceptance of the abyss, so to speak.

Q: The songs on "Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed" were all recorded and mixed in 2007, but composed in various sessions over the first years. Can you tell us more about how the songs on the first album were written?

As mentioned, these were chaotic years which also meant that we had a hard time finding rehearsal rooms et cetera. But we managed, in the end, to have different spaces and I wrote most of the ideas, presented them to the band and we worked from there. After the self-titled 7'' EP released by Apocalyptic Empire we had more songs and just decided to keep working until we felt we had enough for an album. That was just all we wanted to do: create, wander deeper into darkness and set fires.

For me it was, and still is, something I had to do or else I go mad. Call it a call from the abyss if you will. A gate sprung open, and a burst of emotions and power started to flow through that gate and there were no stopping it!

Q: 15 years after the release of CELESTIAL BLOODSHED's debut, how do you perceive this work of Art now? What emotions come up for you personally when you listen to it?

This album is so deeply rooted in me that I still feel it was released just a few years ago… It really is weird. But I am extremely proud of it, and it holds tons of memories within those thirty minutes of music. I remember when we signed with your label (much respect by the way) I had ONE demand: "You can NOT promote us as a Norwegian Black Metal band!"- much to Phil's frustration I guess, haha! But this was the thing: we did not want anything for free just because we came from a certain country, and we did not want to be associated with all the clownery that was (and still is) going on here. For us this was and still is deadly serious and at times very dangerous. But I do not have the time to sit and think about such things, I am still running with the Devil so to speak. And no matter what has happened and no matter if our little circle had or has caught peoples' attention or not, we would still be doing exactly what we are doing: for we are cursed, scarred and forever possessed…

Posted on 03-22-2023 | Category: