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Ceremonium - Into the Autumn Shade
Review: Churning doom with an inner lining of melody that accompanies its context of shuddering, thunderous power chords through a parallel harmony which builds intensity before it collapses in a rumbling bulk of decomposing structure accentuated by percussion distinguished for its subtle grasp of rhythmic essence without dedication to boundaries, the first Ceremonium album builds atmosphere and develops it with a subtle grace reminiscent of Varathron or early Paradise Lost.
Morbid yet romantic moods attach to a leading melody line which fragments across doubled breakdowns and then begins through a devolution of the layers it had produced to create a final statement which is expressed in the cavernous resonance of low-end sound as the product of a tiered matrix of doom metal dirge riffs which resemble a mechanical adding machine in function. In this mechanism emotion is carried by emphasis of vocals, which enunciate in a slow growl reminsicent of Lee Dorrian in early Cathedral, and around these a resonance of impact points within melodies building a mood sustain one another through reintroducing components of their mutually chiastic direction. Throughout this intensity of low-end vocal/strings interchange internal motions escape to the conscious surface and are expressed, shudderingly, as redirections down a new path of divergent melody mirroring the structure and conclusions of its ancestor.
For what doom delivers it renders well the emotion created by a rumbling wasteland of sound in which innocent and naturally simple melodies repeat in changing tonal positions and consequently intensity the degree of background anticipation in sound carried in the vibrations of related structure in the continuing strand of phrase, slowly piling morbid collapse on top of itself to reflect the mindset in which this music makes sense. At that point of listener intersecting the information space that Into the Autumn Shade projects the remaining constructions are an exercise in metal songbuilding and tactical development of musical expression, highlighting both the writing and playing process. Smooth transitions and rumbling tempo changes hovering just inside of indecision, and the evolution of chorus giving way to sensual descents into lower tonal harmonies, support with a technicalist version of populist songwriting ideal the isolated and schizophrenic emotional self-identification of grinding death metal under a layer of precise melody.
Lead guitar slices through a series of dynamic tonal leaps and interlocking response patterns, proving understated for greater power as is most instrumentation. Of note are dry-throat guttural vocalizations. Underestimated in its time, the first album by Ceremonium exposes the listener to waves of a proficient doomy resonance and immerses those who in turn vibrate to the unlocking codex of information therein in an atmosphere of lingering, immanent, energetic abyssic void and hopelessness in human beings.