Ceremony of Silence are drummer, lyricist and cover artist Svjatogor, together with guitarist, bassist and vocalist Vilozof. The band debuted itself in the metal world with Oútis, out via Willowtip Records, but Svjatogor and Vilozof are not newbies in the extreme music scene.
According to Ceremony of Silence’s words, Outis began as “[the] countless hours immersed in freeflowing, improvised jams and writing sessions.” You can sense that through the album’s liquidity, as the whole seven tracks flow almost seamlessly into each other, like a sea serpent coiling its way through the ocean’s floor. More than progressive guitar music, Outis sounds quite jazzy, as the quick succession and irrepetibility of the tracks’ sections recalls impromptu music structures.
As part of the blackened death metal stall, though, Ceremony of Silence is more unique in the way they trim their edges into a more atmospheric, melodic sound. The guitar work is pretty stellar in Outis, as it avoids being limited to the further end of the fretboard, toying with higher notes in the solos.
The drums are equally worth of notice: Svjatogor sounds no lesser “blastbeast” than Behemoth’s Inferno or Hellhammer here. The melody and percussion interplay weaves between moments of noxious headbanging and clearings of pure bliss. With this in regard, the highlight definitely goes for sophomore track “Ceremony of a Thousand Stars”, with its closing section featuring a soaring tremolo guitar solo that will drive you to rapture.
Alas, not everything is great in Ceremony of Silence’s debut. Unfortunately, the vocal and bass performances can’t keep pace with the guitar and drums dream team. The bass sound is quite prominent in the album’s mix (which is always a most welcome decision, moreover in a death metal release), but it does little more than underline the guitar’s chord progression throughout the record, leaving little room for inventiveness. Also, Vilozof’s vocal delivery comes out quite muffled in the production. Given that his growling is quite cavernous and tone-locked, that decision makes Outis a disservice.
Svjatogor and Vilozof’s penchant for extreme music is quite established in the Slovakian metal scene, and Outis is but their first effort as a duo. Their talent shines through their compositions, and its downsides can easily be worked on for their next outing, we believe. So put your headphones on and lose yourself in Ceremony of Silence’s maze of melody and blast beats!