Vancouver’s Celestial Ruin is a perpetual work in progress. The brainchild of drummer Adam Todd took a number of years to get off the ground due to his tireless search for the right singer. Enter Larissa Dawn, the charismatic blonde wailer that went on to become the face of the band after a YouTube video of a karaoke night made its way to Todd through a mutual friend.
It was then that Celestial Ruin was complete. Rounded out by fellow members Yakir Biton (guitars), Mike Dagenais (bass) and Nathan Loflin (keys), the act sprang from a love for symphonic metal in the style of Within Temptation and Nightwish.
“It took him quite a while to get the pieces together,” Dawn confirms. “[Todd] spent three years looking for a singer. He auditioned a whole bunch of people but nothing really fit his vision.”
Before she joined the group, Dawn had no previous band experience despite knowing she wanted to perform. Her delivery is regardless impeccable as she channels all the usual suspects in style and variety (think Sharon den Adel, Tarja Turunen) which nicely combines with her distinctively low mezzo-soprano. The rest of the group is in stern agreement, as they all share the love of this self proclaimed “European symphonic metal with a North American flair.”
“That’s what made me respond to the initial email that was sent. I’m very much influenced by Evanescence — really strong female singers, like Amy Lee,” says Dawn. The claim is quite apparent in Celestial Ruin’s own music, as the catchy guitar hooks and almost gothic style keyboard arrangements meld into Dawn’s operatic approach.
Celestial Ruin appears to be in a subgenre scene of one due to the Vancouver metal community, which is dominated by sludge (Haggatha, Hoopsnake, Bison B.C., Ancients, baptists), power/thrash metal (Unleash the Archers, 3 Inches of Blood), technical death (Archspire, Tyrants Blood, Galgamex), and anarcho/crust (AHNA, Mass Grave, Cooked and Eaten, Life Against Death). Dawn believes their differences are working to their advantage.
“I think we’re shocking a lot of people. Our intro, even before we start playing, it’s like something you would hear from a movie score then you would hear in a downtown Top 40 or party rock bar.”
This very difference is also causing heads to turn in their way. The band has already gained sponsorship from Rockstar Weekly, garnered a number of radio plays from Vancouver heavyweight rock station, 99.3 The Fox, and just landed one of the biggest gigs of their career: opening up for Stone Temple Pilots in Abbotsford on September 17.
The band is nothing but excited to translate debut offering, The Awakening, into a large live environment and takes a large amount of pride in being a mainstream geared band that relies completely on a 100 percent organic sound. As Dawn stressed, they would never use anything like backing tracks or drum machines and are completely confident that they will be able to continue to garner a larger and loyal following between fans and other bands alike.
Watch Celestial Ruin rock the Palomino with 40 Gun Flagship on Thursday, August 23.
By Brandon McNeilAB, Alberta