The so called “Europe’s most controversial Extreme Metal act” returns with “P.uritan’s B.lasphemy C.all”, a simple piece of Symphonic Black Metal fulfilled with a lethal dose of anti-Christian energy. If there’s ONE band that had been most known because of the banning, censored lyrics and problems with justice than for their music, it’s ANCIENT CEREMONY and that’s why they had gained a lot of hatred and fear by Church authorities and conservative groups, specially in Germany.
Going now to music, what they play is basically CRADLE OF FILTH inspired music with lots of melody, vocal effects and bombast. The band is able to make huge operatic arrangements but keeping an aggressive attitude at the same time. The different influences of the six members are evident, as sometimes it’s impossible to see clearly the musical path the band is taking. This is clearer than never before with this EP and its main problem is basically that it seems to be a collection of songs that don’t have a lot in common. There is not continuity, not a unity that permits us to catch the whole essence of “P.uritan’s B.lasphemy C.all” as a unique release.
Everything starts with “Te Deum”, a choral, ceremonial intro that leads to the title track, which is extremely simple, fast and “happy”… yes, it’s the exact point in which Symphonic Black meets Melodic Metal, with shrieking vocals and festive atmosphere. In other parts of the EP we can hear spoken parts by children, ambient, more opera, more bombast, schizophrenic keyboards and even a Death Metal approach with the last song. Ok, variation is good, but trying to put so many elements in a 23 minutes CD just doesn’t work very well and the result is a confusing and over-forced product instead of a coherent concept.
Even although ANCIENT CEREMONY had been blaspheming the scene since 1989, they seem to have stuck forever as a very immature band. A much stronger musical identity is needed, because although they had demonstrated to be able to write decent stuff, every member seems to make his own personal work without thinking overall as a band. Unless they change the attitude a lot, I fear we’ll continue reading about ANCIENT CEREMONY only and I say ONLY because of their problems with authorities. (Online February 10, 2006)