Caelum Bliss was a goth band from Detroit, Michigan circa 1993-1999.
Formed by guitarist/producer Tony Hamera, Caelum Bliss took the Detroit underground by storm, gaining critical acclaim & gigging alongside artists such as Christian Death, Shadow Project, Chris Connelly & Placebo. The first incarnation of Caelum Bliss featured Tony Hamera on keyboards, William King on drums, Mark Nowakowski on bass, Dave Johnson on guitar, and Melissa Emily taking on vocal duties. Their early material was rooted in the early '80's goth movement which had punk influences as well. The band cites Christian Death, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Danielle Dax as early influences. With this line-up Caelum recorded their first demo at Tempermill Studios during the summer of 1993. It contained five songs and highlighted the bands early gothic-punk style of music.
As Caelum began to gig more, their sound started to evolve. Line-up changes and exposure to new European groups had nudged Caelum Bliss into a more Darkwave style and sound. Groups such as Miranda Sex Garden from the U.K., Collection d'Arnell-Andréa from France, and Dead Can Dance from the U.K., had a huge influence on the direction of Caelum as they moved toward more exotic instrumentation. Violins, cello, harp, and hammered dulcimer became staples of their evolving sound. This line-up included the core members of Hamera (now playing guitar and keys), King, and Emily, with newcomers Marvin Shaouni on bass, Kurt Marschke on guitar, Mary Madill and Kristin Toth on violins, Carolyn Nine on harp, and Mike Madill on cello. After recording a couple more demos, Caelum entered Tempermill Studios and recorded their eponymously titled debut CD which was released in 1995. Reviewer Victor Mejia gives his impressions of this CD: "Caelum Bliss seem like a descendant of what 4AD was doing 10 years ago. It is that kind of familiarity in their music that is so comforting and inviting. But they are far more than a copy of all those bands of yesteryear. The CD is well-produced, but not overly so which is often the case with bands of this nature. Their music is both powerful and gripping and stirs up several strong emotions."
As 1995 turned into 1996, Caelum's sound was evolving further. Gone was the string section and complex arrangements, and new elements were introduced - heavy, ambient guitar effects ala the shoegaze movement going on in the U.K., as well as electronic samples and loops. Caelum's line-up was stripped down to a five piece once again featuring the core of Hamera, King, Shaouni, Emily and Marschke. After several more recording sessions in 1997 and through 1998, Caelum continued to evolve and their style had completely changed. By the end of 1999, their sound was more akin to some electro-pop bands of the day like Garbage and Republica rather than the darkwave or gothic-punk sound that had defined them years earlier.
In 1999 Caelum Bliss, with its polished new sound and direction, opted to switch monikers and the electro-pop group Deathgirl.com was formed. Led by Caelum's core members Hamera, Emily, Shaouni, & King, Deathgirl.com released a self-titled CD in early 2001. The CD was met with enthusiasm and praise for its catchy, high energy pop anthems. However, inner turmoil and unkept promises from management and higher-ups had shattered the bands confidence in their musical direction. Deathgirl.com finally disbanded in the fall of 2001. In 2004 Caelum members Tony Hamera and William King were to reunite along with neoteric vocalist Kate Hinote and Bret Haupt on bass, forming the dark, ethereal shoegaze band Ether Aura. In 2005 Ether Aura released their debut CD entitled Crash to the delight of many Caelum Bliss fans and supporters feeling it captured the mid-era Caelum sound and beyond, with its dark themes, swirling guitar effects, ethereal vocals, and fuzz bass.
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