Do you know the feeling of being holed up in a dungeon, surrounded by demons, very low on hit points, no potions, out of spells, and your last quick save was like, an hour ago? Yeah, Baldur’s Gate 3 is finally alive after 20+ years and once again, I’m hyping all over Dungeons&Dragons.
A journey to the unknown is the main concept here and it really fits to the Voidceremony’s musical approach. Californian quartet (actually a trio now, drummer left the band after this release) debut record (Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel) showed that these boys are not afraid from the unknown and they lurk where death metal meets improvisation from jazz fusion. Their goal is to capture the essence of both, then create a face-melting, soul ripping portal, showing the vision of an ancient yet futuristic era of death metal.
New member Phil Tourgas, a proven shredder known for his works at FIRST FRAGMENT, CHTE’ILIST and many more, is under the spotlight here and devilish 90s tech/prog. death metal incantations can be clearly heard through his fluid songwriting. His neoclassical style solos sound a bit too positive and pretty at times but his technical abilities definitely raises the bar here. First record was a bit messy for me and I still feel like its more of a jam-session but Threads of Unknowing is more coherent and smartly written. There is a fine line between technicality and cacophony but its easy to say that VoidCeremony is one step closer to estabishing a cosmic balance this time.
Technical, progressive and old school; there are well-known masters to learn from how to combine these elements and bands like DEATH, ATHEIST and MORBID ANGEL instantly comes to mind but thanks to fretless bass of Damon Good, VoidCeremony presents more than a lifeless clone can. Jazz oriented song structures provide many spaces for solos and Damon really shines when he gets the chance. Melodic solos of Entropic Reflections Continuum (amazing outro), and pre-released single Abyssic Knowledge Bequeathed are great examples of his fresh, independent style. Production which is enabling each instrument to be appreciated seperately is also a key to enjoy individial performances.
I don’t care much about atmospheric, spacey synth sections and interludes like At The Periphery Of Human Realms but its just a small portion of a 36-minute long record so they’re totally neglectable on my behalf. VoidCeremony knows the value of keeping it short and never going full ambient mode. They are undeniably a talented bunch and Threads of Unknowing is a must for progressive death metal fans. No more, no less though. And when you consider their label (20 Buck Spin) and all the other bands these guys involved, I don’t think VoidCeremony has a bigger goal than being a cool, old school progressive death metal band.