Normally, any band coming onto my radar proclaiming they are “a veritable blend of power metal and death metal..that guide the listener through a choice mix of fantasy and sci-fi themes, ranging from frosty Dungeons & Dragons excitement to space travellers and black holes” wouldn’t be racing to the top of my personal playlist. Who needs anything more when you’re like me and still regularly listen to Bal-Sagoth without irony.
All that fantasy mumbo-jumbo and D&D grandstanding important to certain metallic subgenres just isn’t my thing. However, there’s no issue in looking beyond that stuff when what’s rolling around in the sonicsphere consists of robust melodies, air-raid siren vocals, dazzling shred and a lack of furrow-browed seriousness. Here is where Denver’s Celestial Wizard comes in. Formed in 2018 at the confluence of Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity, Viking lore, Firewind, Unleash the Archers, Robert E. Howard novels and backroom Magic the Gathering tourneys, they’ve issued a self-released full-length in the form of A Sinister Awakening and today are on the cusp of album number two, Winds of the Cosmos, from which we present lead single and video, “Ice Realm.” Here, the band’s new school charm and ability to laugh at themselves is put on display as proudly ripping riffs share the scene with nerd pursuits of the highest order.
Says guitarist/vocalist Nick Daggers about what went into the final result:
“Making the music video was a riot. We knew that we had to bring the energy 110% for every single take. The warehouse we filmed in didn’t have great airflow, so by the end of it, we were all sweaty as hell. I remember midway through the day, we took a break and were wandering around looking for some grub. We were filming down the street from The Marquis in Denver where Aether Realm was playing. We shot a text over to Jake, their frontman, and asked him if he wanted to stop by and maybe jump in somewhere in the video. About 20 minutes later there he was in sweatpants and an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt ready to rumble. We were all super amped that he was there. He ends up making it into a couple of sweet slo-mo shots in the video and we couldn’t be more stoked.”
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