The entire point of this exercise is to introduce you to unknown bands that stick out to me on my musical excursions. The problem I often come across is judging a bands ‘relative unknowness’ (and I do know that’s not a word). To explain: Immortal is a pretty unknown band if you were to put them against those chicks Justin Beiber or Britney Spears. I would be willing to bet however, that most of you reading this know who Immortal is and have heard enough of their music to form an opinion on the band. So, how do I decide if a band is ‘Shiny Penny’ worthy or if they are just another group I will one day get around to reviewing? The answer is pretty simple and my process is far from scientific (although somewhat mathematical). I look at the number of listeners a band has on last.fm, I look for other instances of the band being mentioned, and I take note of which publication, how often, ect. ect. If a band doesn't have a a last.fm page that almost automatically enters them in to race. (If you're hoping to be featured as a Shiny Penny, don't go delete your last.fm page -- that would be dumb.)
Some of our past Shiny Pennies have had as little as 60-100 listeners on last.fm and absolutely no other online presence besides an obscure MySpace or Facebook page. Today’s Shiny Penny boasts a (as usual) spectacular review on Invisible Oranges, just a few days ago coincidentally, but is still relatively unknown by most standards with just over 1,000 last.fm listeners.
The band I am speaking of is Celestiial, a one-man blackened funeral doom band from Minnesota. It's only member, T.R. Anderson, brilliantly composes extremely long (sometimes over half hour) pieces of crushing doom that as Cosmo Lee points out in his review, would almost be at home in the nature sounds/relaxation section of your local wal-mart/target/what-have-you. Anderson has an interesting thing going on here, with the combination of heavily distorted guitars giving way to acoustic passages and harp arrangements all accompanied by organic sounds of the forest. The vocals are minimal but well executed and despite its bold departure from the norm, I can see hordes of loyal fans being drawn to the obscurity and experimentation in much the same way Agalloch fans are.
The track you can hear above is from Celestiial’s most recent record ‘Life Springs Eternal’ titled ‘Offering in Ceder Smoke’. You can also see Celestiial’s full discography after the jump.2004 Ashen (Demo)
2006 Desolate North (Full-Length)
2008 Split 12” with Blood of the Black Owl
2010 Where Life Springs Eternal (Full-Length)