Caelum Bliss

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Caelum Bliss was a goth band from Detroit, Michigan circa 1993-1999.

Formed by guitarist/producer Tony Hamera (later in Ether Aura), 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 and the Banshees and 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 band's 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 was formed. Led by Caelum's core members Hamera, Emily, Shaouni, & King, released a self-titled CD in early 2001. The CD was met with enthusiasm and praise for its catchy, high energy electro-pop rock anthems. However, inner turmoil and unkept promises from management and higher-ups had shattered the band's confidence in their musical direction. finally disbanded in the fall of 2001.

Together with a new lead vocalist, Hamera would take his trademark sound into shoegazer style via the band Ether Aura. After a pair of albums, he and Kate would again transitioned into their current style (indie/Americana/gothic country) as the band, The Blueflowers.[1]


  • Caelum Bliss (Demo) 1993
Line-up: Tony Hamera-keyboards/Melissa Emily-vocals/William King-drums/Dave Johnson-guitars/Mark Nowakowski-bass.
  • A New Rain of Sorrow (demo) 1994
Line-up: Tony Hamera-keyboards, guitars/Melissa Emily-vocals/William King-drums/Dave Johnson-guitars/Mary Madill-violin/Kristin Toth-violin/Mike Madill-cello, bass guitar.
  • Caelum Bliss (self titled) CD 1995
Line-up: Tony Hamera-keyboards, guitars, hammered dulcimer/Melissa Emily-vocals/William King-drums/Kurt Marschke-guitars/Marvin Shaouni-bass/Mary Madill-violin/Kristin Toth-violin/Mike Madill-cello/Carolyn Nine-harp, vocals.
  • Pieces ep 1996
Line-up: Tony Hamera-guitars/Melissa Emily-vocals/William King-drums/Kurt Marschke-guitars/Marvin Shaouni-bass/Carolyn Nine-vocals.
  • Deathgirl (demo) 1997
Line-up: Tony Hamera-guitars, programming/Melissa Emily-vocals/William King-drums/Kurt Marschke-guitars/Marvin Shaouni-bass.

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