Music: Celldweller

Celldweller is an award-winning American Heavy Metal/Electronic Music project, formed in 1999 in New York City, but now based in Detroit, Michigan. The project was formed by multi-instrumentalist, DJ and Record Producer Scott "Klayton" Albert, who was once involved in several electronic music and Industrial Metal projects, most notably Angeldust, a collaboration with renowned illusionist Criss Angel. To date, the project has spawned six studio albums, nine EPs and several successful singles.

Celldweller's music is incredibly diverse and multifaceted, and is commonly described as a fusion of Heavy Metal, trance, drum and bass, dubstep, and industrial, with elements taken from many other heavy music genres. The project has also been classified as Nu Metal and gains its pride as one of the Ensemble Darkhorses of the genre. Celldweller's music has frequently appeared in television shows, movies, and video games, more prominently appearing in Dead Rising 2 and Need for Speed.


Current Lineup

Former Members

  • Bret "Blue Stahli" Autrey - backing vocals, synthesizers, guitar, bass, percussion (2010-2011)
  • Dale Van Norman - electric guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals (2004-2005)
  • Kemikal - bass guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals (2004-2005)
  • Cais - acoustic and electronic drums, percussion (2004-2005)
  • Kenny James - acoustic and electronic drums, percussion (2004-2005)
  • Del Cheetah - guitar, keyboards, percussion (2004-2005)
  • Chris "Tweety" Cross - guitar, keyboards, percussion (2004-2005)

Celldweller provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: Not especially bad, but Klayton tends to remix and re-release his old songs often, and also includes fan-made remixes on albums.
  • Careful with That Axe: Many of his songs have screams that seemingly pop out of nowhere, which can be very jarring for first-time listeners.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Chapters of End of an Empire work on this way: Time, the first chapter, is blue. The second one, Love, is red. Dreams, the third one, is green while the fourth and final one, Death, is heavy on purple.
  • Cyber Punk Is Techno: As per Industrial Metal tradition. There are plenty of exceptions, however.
  • Electronic Metal
  • Fading into the Next Song: Every song in the deluxe edition of Wish Upon A Blackstar.
  • Four Is Death: The fourth chapter of his newest album End of an Empire is named Death.
  • Genre Roulette: Switches regularly between vocal electronic/metal (Celldweller, Wish Upon A Blackstar) and instrumental, epic-sounding tracks (Soundtrack for the Voices In My Head)
  • I Am the Band: Celldweller is Klayton's solo project, but guest musicians are brought in for live performances.
  • Jack of All Stats: Klayton describes Celldweller's distinct style as this.
    I never cared about being the best double bass drummer, or the fastest lead guitar player. Couldn't care less. My only desire was to learn different instruments well enough so I could get what I hear in my head onto tape.
  • Long Runner Line Up: It's been the same.... one guy since 1999.
  • Loudness War: His music lacks dynamic range (save for some works from the Soundtrack for the Voices in My Head series), and his later works are significantly louder than his earlier ones and certain tracks have horrendous clipping.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Klayton's music can cover the entire scale, though his playing field is usually the 4-8 range. Occasionally, Celldweller's songs can go up to as high as 9 or 10, note  or even 11. note 
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Frequently described as a metal artist who draws inspiration from the most abrasive electronic music genres (drum and bass, dubstep, industrial, EBM, hard trance, noise, IDM and similar genres), though from song to song, Celldweller can vary between any combination of these genres. Fans usually classify him under Alternative Metal and Nu Metal, though his music sounds very little like the established stereotypes.
  • Nu Metal: Arguably one of the more well-respected bands of the genre.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: "Shapeshifter," composed as a single with Styles of Beyond for Most Wanted, is far more of a Boastful Rap than the thematic lyrics of Klayton's previous works. He then returns to his normal style afterwards.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: More than one. Some fans have begun complaining about the increasing ubiquity of his songs.
  • Signature Style: Chattering Electronic Music sounds influenced by trance, dubstep and noise fused with harsh, crunchy computer-manipulated guitar riffs and fast, aggressive drum and bass-inspired rhythms.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Linkin Park, at least this was how LP was supposed to sound, had they stayed in Nu Metal territory and took their musicality up a notch.

Tropes demonstrated by the Songs, Lyrics, and Music Videos

  • A God Am I: The narrator for "My Own Little World," though it's more of the god of "his own little world" than all of existence.
    Welcome to a world where the air I breathe is mine
    There's nothing to overwhelm me and nothing to cloud my mind
    Be anyone, do anything I'd ever want to try!
    Time doesn't exist here, I will never die!
  • Arc Words: Some lines repeated across the Blackstar album include:
    • "It makes no difference who we are / for when you wish upon a Blackstar."
    • "You're reaping what you sow."
    • Variations on the narrator's "birthright."
  • Attempted Concept Album: Klayton's Wish Upon a Blackstar epic is an attempt at a story with the lyrics and album covers, but it's ultimately too vague to tell a clear story. Thankfully, his blackstar epic has been turned into a book.
  • Author Appeal: Schizophrenia apparently, given how many songs include lyrics about "voices in my head." In addition, Klayton has dedicated entire albums to those voices.
    • Space, Klayton really, really, really likes space.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The titular Blackstars grant wishes. However, the lyrics constantly warn the dangers of doing so.
  • Boastful Rap: The entirety of "Shapeshifter."
  • Cover Version: He made an electro-metal version of "Tragedy".
  • Despair Event Horizon: "So Long Sentiment" describes someone trapped in his own depression, recalling old memories and begging for release.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Included as taunt in Shapeshifter.
    The boiler's grinding, keep the cuffs, enjoy your doughnuts sir / you ain't gonna find me!
  • Genius Loci: Scardonia, the red planet and the source of the blackstars that appears on many album covers and in the Unshakeable music video. To complete the "living planet" look, it even possesses gargantuan eyes and mouth.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: For the Unshakeable music video, the energy that Klayton's music spreads colors the city a vibrant blue, while the aura of Scardonia is an angry red. At the end, Klayton (and his Humongous Mecha) appear to face off.
  • Humongous Mecha: One piloted by a mysterious woman appears in the Unshakeable music video. Unfortunately, the video ends just before its presumed fight with Scardonia.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: "Frozen" is a recurring fantasy about a beautiful seductress, and the narrator never wants to leave.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Against the Tide" sounds very epic and uplifting, despite the lyrics being about losing against "the tide" and how the predicted end "has finally begun."
  • Madness Mantra: Present in many of the more introspective songs, such as "So Long Sentiment," "Stay With Me (Unlikely)," "Kill the Sound," "Goodbye."
  • Mega City: The setting for the Unshakeable music video. At first, it's gray and lifeless, but Klayton's music adds Tron Lines to every building as it spreads.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "The Last Firstborn" the lyrics, "Firstborn, last one" appears, but The Last Firstborn never gets sung or said.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: A mentally unstable narrator pleads this in "Stay With Me (Unlikely)."
  • The Resenter: "Uncrowned" is written from the perspective of one.
    My nights alone were worth is all / Just to see your face on the way down!
  • Split Personality Takeover: The subject of "Kill the Sound."
    Two voices in my head / and I want one of them dead / so I can focus on remembering
  • Time Abyss: "Eon" is about someone trapped in one and trying to escape.
  • Tron Lines: Utilized heavily in the Unshakeable music video.
  • The Vamp: "I Can't Wait" is from the perspective of someone who falls under her seductions.
    Her skin is laced with poison / Her words are laced with lies / Affliction is waiting in her eyes
    I can't control this compulsion / like a moth into the flame / her fiery embrace completes my shame.

Klayton himself

  • Good Is Boring: Humorously enough, hold this mentality.
    "The death per capita in New York had dropped because we had a good mayor for a while, and I didn't feel comfortable with that so I wanted to go someplace where there was a lot more people getting killed. So I went to Detroit."
  • Metal Scream: Very, very frequent in his music.
  • Older Than They Look: Can you guess how old he is by his looks? Take a guess. The answer: fifty!
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Brett of Blue Stahli.
  • Reclusive Artistinvoked: Klayton describes himself as one. He doesn't keep up with the news or own a television set, although he still maintains good relations with his fans, so he really isn't.
  • Self-Deprecation: According to a few behind the scenes footage, he doesn't think he's especially talented for his instruments.
  • Soprano and Gravel: He uses Harsh Vocals as his main vocal delivery, along with clean vocal passages in many of his songs.
  • Start My Own:
    • He had a falling out with his label during his time known as "Circle of Dust" for not being Christian enough for the Christian Metal scene, so started his own music project free from them.
    • When Klayton again had a falling out with his new label over distribution in 2006, he started his own label, FiXT.
    • Klayton's extremely fond of doing this. He was never satisfied how other bands combined guitar, vocals, drums, and/or electronica, so he decided to just learn how to play them all himself to make his own sound.
  • Starving Artist: In his early days, where he slept in his two-room studio Reese's Puffs were his only food all day. He's since become more successful and less poor, but he still holds the mentality.
    I would rather starve and create what I want than be told from someone who doesn't understand me or my art that something isn't up to their specs."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Reese's Puffs.
  • The Unreveal: In the first Ask Celldweller video, he decides to finally set the record straight about his Vague Age by revealing that he's *INCREDIBLY LOUD DRILL NOISES*. Fortunately, although he turns his head away, lip-readers can see he begins with "thirty-", so he's somewhere in his late thirties at least.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: His name's not Clayton, it's Klayton.
  • You Gotta Have Red Hair: Both how Klayton appears in artwork and how he actually looks.