TITLE: IN THE SPIRIT WORLD NOW
LABEL: RELAPSE RECORDS
WORDS: ROB KENT
With their sixth full length Ceremony have returned with a record that takes us on a post punk journey. It’s a collection of songs that take pinches of influences from different eras of music and when combined with a modern punk influence results in a record that packs a punch while still not shying away from their traditional atmospheric mood. ‘In The Spirit World Now’ is full of new wave, brit pop, post punk and gothic electronic sounds. When merged with a very British inspired vocal performance it results in a fusion of emotions, tracks with climbing guitars, catchy hooks and creepy pop elements and huge sonic growth in the band’s sound.
The driving, pulsing bass on this album is fantastic with it adding a strong backbone to each and every song. Opening track “Turn away the bad thing” hits us with the prominent bass line over the synth that sets the scene immediately before moving in to a full explosion of sounds that start the album off with an energy that remains throughout.
“‘In The Spirit World Now’ is full of new wave, brit pop, post punk and gothic electronic sounds”
The album is very ambitious, the true highlight and key track being ‘Presaging The End”, a song which really shows the colourful work that’s gone in to the album. The rising tension with the vocals completing the guitars and synth perfectly; the rhythm section holding the track at a solid syncopated pace from start to finish.
The vocal melodies all over these songs are also perfect. With the passion and heartfelt performance that is laced in every song, it’s clear that the musical direction of the album sits as a perfect setting for vocalist Ross Farrar to put his story telling and poetic message across in a natural but unique manor.
In a time where blending sounds is more vibrant than ever, this band have surely added their own touch to this art. Such a juxtaposition is created at times with the dance floor statements made instrumentally and the harsh aggressive vocals, it contrasts so well, showing this record is a true piece of art. With such different features complementing each other so well, it gives an almost Smiths effect with the vocals and instruments working so well when on paper they maybe shouldn’t.
“the record is full of fresh combinations of the bands past ethic combined with an influence that plays homage the greats of post punk and British indie”
The influences on this record are clear from the start to finish. The band have moved away from the pace of their original releases and stepped away from a hardcore, noise rock sound and headed straight for a past indie sound with a modern punk fusion, which blends nicely. The likes of Joy Division, The Cure and The Clash can all be heard throughout and makes for a very fresh sounding sound in 2019. With the original punk roots and ethic clearly stapled in every song, the pop synth lines and impactful rhythm section serve as very nice base for the aggressive vocals and complement each other perfectly. The Smiths sounding guitars build tension nicely and the dark and light contrasting effects go smoothly with the poppy drums and synth grooves.
Overall this is a great effort from Ceremony, the record is full of fresh combinations of the bands past ethic combined with an influence that plays homage the greats of post punk and British indie, adding an aggression with a head bouncing vibe that makes this record a fresh sounding breath of fresh air for fans of wide variety of genres.