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CEREMONIUM

CEREMONIUM
Dreams We Have Written
(Weird Truth Productions)
120:56min

I guess not many of today's kids have any idea about a doomy Death Metal band from New York called CEREMONIUM. The band started out in 1992 - and they existed roughly about 11 years - and ceased to exist. However, during those eleven years of the band's existence, they released 2 full-length studio albums (their debut album "Into The Autumn Shade" came out in 1995 - and CEREMONIUM's 2nd and last album, titled "No Longer Silent" in 2000), one 2-track 7-inch EP (in 2005, titled "Nightfall In Heaven"), one 3-track demo (in 1993) - and finally a 2-song promotional demo that was kind of preparing them to record their 3rd full-length studio album, which never happened. What a pity because the band had all the potential to make things happening for them. Anyway, back to the subject, the first disc contains CEREMONIUM's 2 full-length albums, in my opinion also representing CEREMONIUM in its most creative yet best strike. The debut, "Into The Autumn Shade" is more Doom Metal orientated out of the band's 2 full-length studio albums, reminding me of PARADISE LOST's "Frozen Illusion" demo and "Lost Paradise" album eras, FUNEBRE's demo times - as well as at times even the times of ABHORRENCE's "Vulgar Necrolatry" demo comes to my mind for some of those faster, more grinding moments that they have absorbed into their songs on "Into The Autumn Shade". This is pretty fuckin' awesome Doom / Death Metal - and it's an absolutely cool thing "Into The Autumn Shade" has been re-released again. On the band's 2nd album, "No Longer Silent", which was 5 years later from the debut, CEREMONIUM took a more progressive and more technical musical direction for themselves, sounding a pretty much like a different band on this record. In a way, they bring one other US progressive Death Metal name to my mind, that band being Missouri's own boys TIMEGHOUL. CEREMONIUM's use a lot of odd time signatures and shifts within the songs on this 6-track effort, truly showing the band's technical side in its most complex form. The production is also crispy and heavy, the same way it was done on DEMIGOD's landmark album, "Slumber Of Sullen Eyes". As a last note about "No Longer Silent", a cover version of DARKTHRONE's 'Cromlech' song also gets a worthy treatment in the hands of the CEREMONIUM guys. When it comes to the disc no. 2, I love the way how CEREMONIUM sound like on the 2-track "Nightfall In Heaven" 7-inch EP (originally released by Necroharmonic Productions in 1995). Heavy, crushing, frightening and Doom-laden Death Metal at its best - and those heavy bass parts just ape the same signature sound that AUTOPSY had already adopted on their couple of 1st albums. CEREMONIUM's 3-track 1993 demo - then again, sounds raw, heavy and very unpolished, clearly pointing out a musical direction for them, which they later refined a bit into a tighter mould on their debut album, "Into The Autumn Shade". A song called 'Under The Eternal Horizon', which CEREMONIUM recorded for a compilation album called "Visionaries Of The Macabre", released by Lost Disciple Records, showed once again where CEREMONIUM are incredibly good at: making some utterly heavy, doom-laden Death Metal. The spirit of PARADISE LOST's "Frozen Illusion" demo era is strongly present in this very tune, do doubts. CEREMONIUM's last studio visit (as far as I know of), happened in 2001 - and out of these sessions they got 3 new songs recorded. Unfortunately this so-called 'promotional 2001 demo' had a recording quality of more like 'live in rehearsal' type of standard, but luckily the songs still gave a good picture about CEREMONIUM's style of their later period where they were heading to musically before the band's plans to continue, were wrecked to pieces by some certain unfortunate circumstances. This last ever recording of CEREMONIUM was the one, in which innovation, heaviness and the band's tendency to take a couple of more progressive steps musically, clashed somewhat perfectly - and I for one would have hoped to see some more continuum from them back then, to their already promising career. Well, it never happened but at least we have now got this absolutely killer compilation of all CEREMONIUM's studio recording in our hands, which should make the coming days of most of us underground Death Metal fans a bit happier from now on, I guess. Essential release - get it! More about this release and overall about CEREMONIUM at: www.myspace.com/ceremonium, www.weirdtruth.jp

Luxi Lahtinen


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