Ceremony of Silence - Oútis - (7/10)
Published on March 24, 2019
“Ceremony of silence” is a two man project from Slovakia that offers a pretty unusual take on blackened death metal. With a raw but also processed sound that clearly separates the instruments so you can hear each one individually, their debut album “Oútis” creates a slightly monotonous and very obscure atmosphere. It’s certainly intriguing because it’s very aggressive but somehow drowned out so it doesn’t deliver a lot of power. If you’re a fan of the genre you will not be bored and it will certainly surprise you.
From the first moment, the album jumps head first into blast beats and technical, dynamic riffing. These guys prove straight away that they can play really fast and difficult stuff. The drumming is focused on continuous grinding at incredibly high speeds and sudden shifts in patterns with a high affinity for the progressive and experimental side (see the intro to “Trance of Void”). The guitars and bass play in the same league of constant battering with lots of low frequency, black metal riffing as well as a more dynamic death style but will also move towards a higher register and complete the soundscape with a dash of melody. The best thing for me personally must be the crazy tremolo picking melodies that jump in with no warning and disappear just as fast. One thing is certain, they know music and have no shortage of skill or creativity.
That being said, I do find this album a bit peculiar and can’t understand what exactly it is that they were aiming at. All songs sound the same and offer no change in style from beginning to end. “Upon the Shores of Death” must be the one that saved the album for me because it’s slower and more death/doom oriented, delivering some emotion and changing the pace a little bit. But it doesn’t contrast that much because thanks to the overall muffled sound, the “aggressive” style doesn’t really pack up the energy that it could. The vocals don’t really help either as they’re very buried in the mix and barely distinguishable. However, there are things you can enjoy and the album is also quite compact with a total run time of just over 34 minutes. I can’t say it’s a bad release and for a debut it’s quite promising. I admire the creativity and intention to try something a little different and I’m certainly not going to just dismiss this band. But they have some work to do in balancing out their ideas and making them work better from a musical perspective. In the end “Oútis” carries a lot of talent but doesn’t really put it to good use, leaving me slightly dissatisfied.