Review by Dom Vigil
Anakin’s new album, Celestial Frequency Shifter is easy to get lost in. Fuzzy guitar work, warm vocals and a beautiful sweeping melody open the album in “Astro[not]” and immediately pull you in with Anakin’s trademark mellow, spaced-out sound. The low vocals coupled with the deep bass tones and fuzzy guitar are incredibly relaxing and inviting, and the keyboard parts tie everything together. By the time “Astro[not]” fades into “Cosmosapien,” I’m anxious to see what else Anakin will bring to the table.
The low vocal parts in “Cosmosapien” are definitely a strong point in the song, reminding me quite a bit of Mark Hoppus from Blink-182, only more mellow and laid back. The synthy keyboard parts in this song (and throughout the rest of the album) are a really interesting touch to the otherwise low and grungy sound in Anakin’s guitars and bass, but it totally works and sounds really interesting next to the beautiful, melodic chorus. It takes otherwise mellow tracks and make them sound more modern, youthful and upbeat.
Another really strong track on Celestial Frequency Shifter is “Satellite.” The fourth song on the album is really soothing and relaxing, and while the key part isn’t as prominent in it, the vocal melody in the chorus is gorgeous. On the flip side, “Ctrl.Alt.Del.” is a very key-heavy track. The Star Wars references in the lyrics are pretty awesome, even though that is to be expected from a band called Anakin.
Celestial Frequency Shifter definitely becomes more electronic as it progresses. The keys become a very prominent part in the album very quickly, and while I wasn’t sure how I felt about the sound alongside the grungy guitar and bass tones the first time around, upon my second listen, I was absolutely in love. The synth parts add a whole different level to the album, making it sound even more spaced-out and airy. Easily the most “electronic” sounding track comes at the halfway mark with “Clairvoyance.”
I think the only weak point on Celestial Frequency Shifter is that the vocals seem a little too low and quiet in some parts. With the thick, sludgy guitar on top of sweeping synth parts, it’s easy to lose the low, soft vocals, which could have maybe been turned up a bit. That being said, though, the tone of the vocals is a perfect fit for Anakin’s sound - they’re soothing and relaxing and take you on a journey as the album progresses.
The sound that Anakin has created with this album is absolutely remarkable. They managed to bring two completely different sounds together (the low, fuzzy guitars and spacey synth parts) and make it work and then some. It’s easy to close your eyes when listening to Celestial Frequency Shifter and imagine that you’re on another planet. When the final track, “Sunbeam” kicks in, it definitely sounds like a perfect final track. “Sunbeam” gives Celestial Frequency Shifter just the theatrical ending that it needs, and makes me want to hit play all over again as soon as it fades out.
Listen to "Satellite"