Celestial Season's somewhat-recent (let's not think about how long ago 2011 was, though) reunion didn't quite pick up where they left off-it was a return to their doom-heavy era of the early 1990s, as evidenced by 2020's The Secret Teachings and Mysterium I in 2022. These newer works have an unusual perspective--they're not quite a time capsule back to 1995, but perhaps something even better. With many original members back in the fold, this is doom metal penned by original innovators of the genre, but also by fans that have grown along with the genre since then. On Mysterium II, the second part of the band's planned trilogy, this perspective continues to provide some of the most beautiful, poignantly heavy doom-death metal one is likely to find on this side of Y2K.

Mysterium II highlights how careful orchestration and composition can elevate doom metal like anything else, fusing strings and guitars into crystalline suspensions of delicate might and punctuating them with just enough drums and growled vocals to keep heads nodding and hands clenched through the tears. There is an art to this that goes beyond just finding sad chords or making songs long enough, and Celestial Season's mastery of this art hasn't dulled at all in the nearly three decades that separate Mysterium II from their early works–it has only sharpened further.

On "Pictures of Endless Beauty / Copper Sunset," which we're premiering below, Celestial Season turn their skills toward honoring another doom metal band that had a similar fascinating majesty–Cathedral–and pondering humanity's obliviousness. Read more on this below and check out the track.

For reference, "Copper Sunset" comes from the Hopkins (The Witchfinder General) EP: perhaps the deepest Cathedral cover cut imaginable, but a perfect choice to close out the album.

Lyrically "Pictures of Endless Beauty" deals with the majestic beauty of the universe, as humanity steps into a more virtual world, oblivious to the infinite beauty that lies in the real world before them. The lyrics also focuses on one of the Hermetic principles of ‘As Above, So Below’.

Musically "Pictures of Endless Beauty" is inspired by the true masters of Death/Doom ‘Cathedral’. Celestial Season is often blindly coupled to the Peaceville 3 but for composer Jason Kohnen, "Pictures of Endless Beauty" is an ode to ‘Forest of Equilibrium’ which laid the foundation to a big part of his personal and Celestial’s sound. The Cathedral ‘side B’ track ‘Copper Sunset’, appears at the end of the "Pictures of Endless Beauty" as tribute to Gary Jennings’ amazing songwriting.


Mysterium II releases December 2nd via Burning World Records.

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