Review Summary: A mystical journey into emptiness and death
At the end of the decade, we've come across a series of extreme metal bands whose hybrid approach expresses a modern musical vision that explores and condenses different genres into a single narrative. Bands such as Hath, Venom Prison or Noctambulist, each in their own way, are products of their time, hybrids that mirror smells, shapes, colors, sounds, interpretations of the present. A present where everything blends. Ceremony of Silence is one of these new born creatures, whose musical signature doesn't belong to a single specific genre, but rather to a wider spectrum.
The opener "Invocation of the Silent Eye", with its Immolation meets black metal formula, immediately grabbed my attention. This NY death metal feeling is all around Oútis
, as a transverse layer proudly showing the listener one of the band's main references. But the album's added value lies in the interaction of this layer with black metal aesthetics and surrounding dissonant harmonies. This combination of styles is shown, e.g., in the middle of "Invocation of the Silent Eye", through its mystic harmony, that appears out of nowhere, or in the final sequence of "Ceremony of a Thousand Stars", which brilliantly contrasts with the song's initial death metal approach. A dark, dense mist is always present, but I don't feel it as something demonic but rather mystical. A Slovak black haze that slowly surrounds us until it captures all oxygen and light. "Upon the Shores of Death", the album's doomiest song, invokes this surrounding emptiness that precedes death. This song, besides being one of the highlights, also provides a brief moment of contemplation, thus avoiding some saturation and weariness, sometimes present in this denser musical approach. The last tracks close the circle coherently, just like ouroboros in its ceaseless cycle of life and death, leaving nothing but hollowness and void.
is a mystical journey into emptiness and death. It's cohesive, focused, meaningful and artistically relevant. A surprisingly interesting debut from a band that has a message, a purpose and which solidly stands as one of the biggest promises of the European extreme metal scene.