Music / Celldweller

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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, Need for Speed, and the 3rd season of Killer Instinct.

Members:

Current Lineup

Former Members (live performances only)

  • Bret "Blue Stahli" Autrey - backing vocals, synthesizers, guitar, bass, percussion (2010-2011)
  • Dale Van Norman - electric guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals (2003-2005)
  • Kemikal - bass guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals (2003-2005)
  • Cais - acoustic and electronic drums, percussion (2003-2005)
  • Kenny James - acoustic and electronic drums, percussion (2003-2005)
  • Del Cheetah - guitar, keyboards, percussion (2003-2005)
  • Chris "Tweety" Cross - guitar, keyboards, percussion (2003-2005)

Celldweller provides examples of the following tropes:

Tropes demonstrated by the Songs, Lyrics, and Music Videos

  • A God Am I: The narrator for "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!
  • The Alcatraz: The XR-87 Prison System located on Helion, mentioned in "Faction 13" and "Breakout."
  • 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."
    • The phrase "lost in time" shows up a lot throughout End of an Empire.
  • The Atoner: "Frozen"
    "I want to forget mistakes they've helped me make/it's better to be broken than to break"
  • 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.
    • End of an Empire is a little more well-developed.
  • 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."
  • Cluster F-Bomb/Precision F-Strike: A bit of both. Klayton doesn't curse often, but when he does, he really goes for it.
    • "Heart On" is the best example.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Ultimately, both Wish Upon a Blackstar and End of an Empire have shades of this, but Wish Upon a Blackstar, adaptation notwithstanding, is a better example.
  • 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.
    • "Just Like You".
  • 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!
  • Downer Ending: On every album. "Against the Tide" is the worst example.
  • Driven to Suicide: "One Good Reason", "Tainted", "The Great Divide".
  • Fantastic Racism / Just a Machine: This is the cause of the downfall of Atiria in End of an Empire. To clarify, an android gave other androids sapience, resulting in mankind splitting into two groups - the "Pro-bots" and the "Robophobes" - and warring with each other. This is mentioned in "Faction 13" & was expanded upon in the Scandroid song "Pro-bots & Robophobes".
  • 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.
  • Great Escape: "Breakout" involves a group of "Plugins" conducting one from the infamous XR-87 Prison System.
  • 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.
  • Ironic Echo: From End of an Empire:
    The Dreamcatcher: Give yourself to me... I... am... life!
    • Later:
    The Gatekeeper: Give yourself to me... I... am... death.
  • The Lost Lenore: "The Great Divide" has shades of this.
  • 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."
    • "The Great Divide" sounds rather uplifting... and then there's the lyrics.
  • 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!
    • Down To Earth is another example.
  • Singer Name Drop: "Switchback"
  • 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

  • Badass Baritone: Surprisingly enough, he has a pretty solid low range, though it's mostly reserved for backing vocals, but sometimes they come through clearer than the vocals they're supposed to be backing.
    • "Afraid This Time" is the best example:
    "Leave me if you want
    You can't hurt me now"
  • Deadpan Snarker: He certainly has his moments.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Whenever he wants to be creepy, he generally goes for this through both his natural voice and the effects he layers onto it.
  • Good Is Boring: Humorously enough, holds 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."
  • Goth: In his Circle of Dust days. His hairstyle is very probably an Artifact from his goth days.
  • Heroic Build: Yes.
  • Metal Scream: Very, very frequent in Celldweller and Circle of Dust. Doesn't use any in Scandroid.
  • Older Than They Look: Very likely, considering how long he's been active as a musician.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Brett of Blue Stahli.
  • Proud to Be a Geek: The man has no guilty pleasures.
  • 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.
    • He hates the traditional method of touring, which combined with his reclusive nature is part of the reason why he didn't tour for a very long period of time and has rarely performed shows since 2011.
  • Self-Deprecation: According to a few behind-the-scenes videos, he doesn't think he's especially talented for his instruments.
  • Soprano and Gravel: He frequently uses Harsh Vocals along with clean passages in many of his songs. Averted with Scandroid, where he uses no harsh vocals at all.
  • 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.
  • Vague Age: Even his Heterosexual Life-Partner Bret doesn't know how old he is. Some people think he's as old as fifty-two.
    • Some deducting of his actual age can be done through the fact he's been active as a musician since at least the late 1980s. If it's assumed that he first started playing in bands professionally in his late teens or early twenties, his age now is very likely around the late thirties to mid fourties.
  • 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.
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