In the Woods...
Cease the Day


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (275 Reviews)
December 4th, 2018 | 42 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gentle, ethereal, nostalgic...but also an album that comes with the threat of great disappointment, depending on how you like this musical style.

In the Woods... were once recognised as a band with a game-changing plan for the (then) current state of black metal. The late 90s was a time for up-and-coming bands of the sub-genre to expand, experiment and arguably improve what underground metal fans were used to, and the Norwegian pagan metallers couldn't have been better representatives of this change in the sub-genre's otherwise traditional aesthetics. However, this was the late 90s. Now, with black metal often being manipulated to invite literally every musical style you can think of into the otherwise extreme metal fold, an album such as Cease the Day doesn't seem as much of a shock, rather a slice of nostalgia that the few long-time fans could latch onto if they were craving more of what Omnio left behind.

The 2016 comeback effort, Pure, was simply a way of In the Woods... trying to get back and attempt to finish what they started, albeit to frustrating results mostly due to the apparent lack of confidence in musical delivery. It was nice, but it wasn't spot on and certain moments dragged. In comparison, Cease the Day seems more thoughtful and intricate in its musical approach. Opener "Empty Streets" is probably the finest song you'll hear from the band's latest effort, if only because it sets such a beautiful, enthralling musical image in your mind that every other song afterwards struggles to match its warmth and ethereal nature. Not to worry however, because the song's progressive tactics are at the forefront and certainly present a songwriting advantage. Everything about "Empty Streets" simply brings to mind nostalgia, yet at the same time is thoroughly pleasant, even when the harsher vocal style is injected into an otherwise atmospheric soundscape. "Substance Vortex" follows on in similar fashion, breaking through the multiple layers of calm, earthy tones to introduce the listener to sounds beyond a mere rhythm section. Clean vocals manage to soften any extreme metal bursts, soundly confirming that In the Woods... have a collective awareness of how differing tones can complement each other. It's also never overdone, but this may well be both a core advantage and a disadvantage.

Unfortunately, just like Pure, a solid hour of this tried-and-tested musical technique means that Cease the Day can't quite retain such a high level of interest beyond the first half of the album. For some reason, "Cloud Seeder" sees the band do away with the almost whimsical atmospherics of "Respect My Solitude" (a song more majestic than metallic) in favour of a more streamlined musical delivery. Vocals are harsher, the rhythm section becomes busier and the background is merely an echo of In the Woods... humble beginnings. It's almost like a different album, but you can still recognise the band's nostalgic approach to using what worked for them in the past and twisting it into more modernised settings. That said, the second half of the album generally feels like a bit of a missed opportunity, but only because of how (nearly) flawless those first three songs were. Perhaps if the song placement was played around with a bit more, we could have had a more piqued interest, perhaps an otherwise melodeath-influenced "Strike Up the Dawn" following the enchanting opener "Empty Streets". Furthermore, why exactly did the band decide to close the album with a two-minute title track, wholly atmospheric and devoid of any metal notion, when it sounds strangely similar to the beginning of "Transcending Yesterdays"" Who knows, but something about this slight inconsistency in both songwriting and composition makes for an equally as inconsistent album.

Yet the inconsistencies here aren't enough to dissuade those who enjoyed In the Woods... more experimental efforts from further listens. Cease the Day is simply a warm, not too commanding full-length effort, but one which never goes too far beyond its own boundaries. A pleasant night in with a glass of wine (or something similar, use your imagination) is probably the best requirement for an album of this style, such is the gentle and, well, progressive nature of Cease the Day.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2018


2571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

c/c welcome as always.

Digging: Cult Leader - A Patient Man

Hawks
December 4th 2018


64329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Last album was one of my favs of the past few years, def gonna jam this ahrd. m/

Digging: Azelisassath - In Total Contempt of All Life

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2018


2571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hope you enjoy it dude, if you liked Pure there's no reason why you shouldn't get into this.

zaruyache
December 4th 2018


19986 Comments


your summary got cut off lol

Digging: Black Funeral - Empire of Blood

DarkNoctus
December 4th 2018


10605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pure was really underappreciated



looking forward to this

Digging: Klone - Here Comes The Sun

Hawks
December 4th 2018


64329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes it was Noctus. I dig Pure more than the first one by a mile tbh. Both slay though so I’m sure I’ll dig this.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 5th 2018


11342 Comments


Really glad to see this one reviewed. People need to check Three Times Seven On A Pilgrimage as well, great stuff.

Nomos2
December 5th 2018


110 Comments


"Cease the Day" sounds like a frustrating pop-punk-post-hardcore band from 2009 signed to Tooth & Nail Records.

But I've never heard of these guys before, somehow, and I'm excited to give them a shot now after this. Good review.

ElioG
December 5th 2018


26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice to see that a criminally overlooked band has a consistent return. Great review. In the Woods... were mostly recognised in the metal world for The Heart of the Ages album and their fresh look on the nordic black metal scene (along with bands like Arcturus, Ulver and Ved Buens Ende). But Omnio and Strange In Stereo are milestones of the so-called avant-garde metal genre, so good albums and so sad they don't get the admiration they deserve.

Hawks
December 5th 2018


64329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the history lesson bruh.

Source
December 5th 2018


5690 Comments


lol

Digging: Failure - In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind

ElioG
December 5th 2018


26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hawks, why the irony? Did i offend you or something? My point was that In the Woods... aren't known for the right reasons, which are Omnio and Strange in Stereo. I like Sputnik and I browse it for two years now but I rarely comment and rate, I even like many of your comments and lists, but why this attitude?

Hawks
December 5th 2018


64329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

All I said was thanks for this history lesson....

Papa Universe
December 5th 2018


18562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

before this turns into a blunder, let's just recognise that an underrated band is being recognised and that they consistently release quality. okay? okay.

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

DarkNoctus
December 5th 2018


10605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

fun fact, the vocalist of this band is also responsible for this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvnesEHYkpc



'roland the farter' is a particular highlight

Hawks
December 5th 2018


64329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This rules in case anyone was wondering. Fuck I love this band.



Average for this is bs.

Papa Universe
December 6th 2018


18562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I rate this album's average rating a 2.5 for dissatisfying me.

Hawks
December 6th 2018


64329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

SAME.

Dewinged
December 6th 2018


13064 Comments


I skimmed through it and didn't really like it. Don't tell me I have to go back and jam it again.

Digging: Kaelan Mikla - Not Eftir Not

Hawks
December 6th 2018


64329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn.



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