Album Review: Celldweller – ‘Offworld’

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Celldweller’s newest release Offworld may potentially express just as much about Klayton as a person right now as it does about his seemingly unwavering musical talents. While it shows a departure from his usual blend of aggressive metal guitars and blasting beats, a shift which some hardcore fans might find a bit off or even mildly distressing, it also exhibits a broader melancholic attitude towards our beloved planet Earth which could easily be interpreted as borderline misanthropy. But is there anything truly ‘off’ about this perspective, or is Offworld simply a sign of our current times?

Save for the occasional lapses of energy in a number of tracks, the emotional song-writing has, for the most part, paid off well. We receive a very different performance from Klayton; perhaps this emotive pessimism reflects a jaded view of humanity as it stands right now and a desire to escape our current troubles.  It’s oddly dehumanising in some songs, even the title track beginning with “Let’s get away from these soul parasites/You and I will go offworld tonight”, and yet humanising in others, as Klayton revitalises The Call’s ‘Too Many Tears’ in a rather splendid cover. Klayton may speak of escaping planet Earth but even so, he’s keen not to leave his alternative/shoegaze roots behind, roots which we also experience in ‘Echoes’.  

We also have another rendition of one of his signature tracks ‘Own Little World’, a timeless classic but now defined as a ‘reprise’, a sign of his willingness to preserve the best of Celldweller with a sentimental twist. It’s easy to maybe derive the wrong message from Offworld but we can say for certain that Klayton has embarked on a new journey – an intense and initially quite bleak journey, yet with fresh hope for the future of Celldweller.

[Murray McKinstray]

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