Review Summary: Dedicated to Universum fans everywhereUniversum
fans read: this is how modern melodic death metal, with clean vocals, is done. Riffs are crunchy and potent
-sounding, and the growls of the vocalist involved, in this case by Vitali, are beefy and grizzly, the accompanying cleans being complimentary and harmonic in their roles within the music. Fake, tacked-on choruses and abundant amounts of cheese are notably absent as well. For the lactose intolerant metalhead in you or I, Ceremonial Perfection give us something worth digesting and diving into, and all before the stellar, new Dan Swano
-produced Ominium Gatherum
album drops in February, too.
Estonia’s Ceremonial Perfection offer Alone in the End
, not being a revitalizing flare to the swaying and downtrodden melodic death metal genre, per se, but the album does carry that fleeting feeling of hope for this brand of music. It’s the kind of feeling that filled much of 2006’s Above the Weeping World
, 2009’s Stone’s Reach
and the 90s gem, Sacrilege
’s Fifth Season
, as well: this music can still sound fresh, alive, maybe not to its full potential here on Alone in the End
. But the signs are there for something awesome to come from the band in the future.
Keyboards are used sparingly throughout on Alone in the End
, adding a dab of ambiance here and there, such as on concert anthem “Through Your Devil Nature”, or to accompany a leading guitar riff as on “Autumn of Memories” and “Asymmetry”. As mentioned earlier Ceremonial Perfection never create music that comes across as cheesy or ear-grating. There are a few elements in the music where these boys from Estonia could have stepped it up a notch, though; a few acoustic interludes are nice, via “Intro” and “Through Your Devil Nature”, but more would have been welcome, as each track could have easily been as strong and head-bangable as the varied contrasting epic highlight, “My Labyrinth”.
What Alone in the End
offers metalheads is surely something you’ve heard before, yet rarely these days is melodic death metal ever done this well, despite the album's shortcomings. Ceremonial Perfection carry a lot of potential for themselves, having much of the subgenre's problems already taken care of at this point in their career – unlike a certain band from Australia, mind you. And it’s fair to say that with a strong follow-up the band could easily place themselves in the upper tiers of the subgenre. Enjoyable and well-played, Alone in the End
offer metalheads a glimpse of hope for everybody’s most hated/most loved brand of metal, melodic death in all it infamous glory.