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One of a kind - 90%

colin040, July 21st, 2019

The word ‘’underrated’’ has been throw around many times but out of the few albums that I really like, I really believe No Longer Silent falls in that category. Now I remember Ceremomium’s debut as a boring piece of deathly doom where there just isn’t much going on, but here everything changed. This album sounds vivid, colorful and most importantly, a lot more exciting in the guitar department.

On this album, Ceremonium could seriously hit a nerve if you’re in the right (or wrong, depending on your perspective) mood. Indeed, the guitar work is very expressive and the main strength of this album; no clichés such as odd female vocals or silly keys are present here. Stylistically, the band avoids any obvious throwbacks to the earlier (once) giants of the doom/death style as well. Vaguely this recalls the Autopsy-gets-abducted-by-aliens approach of death metal era Darkthrone combined with the doom-y riff-salad method of Runemagick’s early 00’s outputs (and there’s even a Darkthrone cover here, more on that later) more so than anything else. Riffs aren’t just crawling on the floor in a sluggish pace (even if they surely can, see ‘’Pillars of Wisdom'' which is the band's murkiest creation) but when things speed up and float around in semi-progressive manner, it’s more of Soulside Journey without the cold, soulless aura floating around that appeared on that album.

Of course none of this would matter if Ceremonium had no idea about writing and connecting riffs together, but the band sounds really focused on this album. Fluently the band unleashes both firm midpaced riffs, evocative tremolos and everything in between. Just behold how the title track relies on that furious, yet triumphant tremolo riff for a while, or how ‘’Forever Enthroned’’ rapidly changes from a tensed piece of work into something eerie and dramatic without any pretense to it, before it speeds the hell up again. Yet my pick for the best tune on here has to be ‘’Delusions of Grandeur’’ – the second longest track on here and it’s as inspiring as the other material. The faster bits appear to be grandiose and forceful while during the slower parts are a lot more unsettling and those hopeless guitar lines at the end are the cherry on the cake – the closest to the early Darkthrone comparison I made earlier; as if a young Greg Macintosh was jamming with Fenriz and Nocturno Culto.

Literally the only complaint I have is that Darkthrone cover – now I like the song and it’s faithful to the original but that’s exactly the problem - it doesn’t really add anything to the album. Still, there’s nothing else I’d have changed about this album if I could. The vocals are of ordinary quality; thick growls get switched up with blackened shrieks. It works, as they allow the guitars to shine a lot more - none of that ‘’cavernous belly monster growling so loud you can’t hear the guitars even’’ crap here. It sounds as if each instrument resonates next to each other, instead of being thrown on top of each other.

I can only imagine what Ceremonium would have come up with if they hadn’t split-up. No Longer Silent is one of the best (and sadly underrated) albums of its kind. For those who prefer doom metal to have a deathly flavor, or enjoy death metal that's not all frantic fast-paced, this album is very much essential.

Astoundingly Good - 90%

Petrus_Steele, April 12th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2000, CD, Destro Records

What an amazing record! It's much more melodic and intriguing death/doom, it's somewhat reminds me of early Septicflesh. The production is also perfect. The blending of black metal shrieking is a job well done; and I'm not really a fan of black metal. The guitar riffs are also of black metal, as the drums, too. Hell, maybe label this as death/doom/black metal - or black metal with death growls... you get the idea, it's a good record! Much like the first album, I liked the balance between each track: you got two tracks of four, five, and six minutes, individually. So you're getting six catchy and energetic tracks to listen.

No Longer Silent is the five-year gap and sophomore album of Ceremonium, after releasing their debut, Into the Autumn Shade in 1995. This record also marks a change in the lineup and sound: the guitarist, Brandon Diaz took over the vocals whilst playing the guitar after the original vocalist, Oscar Matter left (or fired - I don't know). It features a new bassist, Pasquale Reca, who's friends with Brendon and the lead guitarist, Tom Pioli, and the vocalist of the black metal band, Hemlock; more of a side-project, which all three are playing together. Other than that, the lineup was mostly the same as what the first record consisted.

The sound and music is less vicious and gloomy than their debut, but contains more melodies, blast beats, effected bass guitar, and bizarre keyboard effects. I also find the atmosphere to be stronger. The bridges of every track are remarkably different that make this record very special. Blessing of the Flame has a fluctuated choir keyboard with persisted guitar riffs that later shift melodically. Wisdom of Pillars, being my favorite track, has the best bridge by far: it's darkened and depressingly beautiful, provided by the slowed single notes from the guitars to enrich the atmosphere and the great death growls from Brendan. The Cromlech cover from Darkthrone obviously suggests how blackened this record is, and how basically Brandon's inspiration to reinforce the music into more black metal orientated than death/doom.

It's quite disappointing that once again there are only six tracks. I think it's very limited for death metal, and to consider this as a LP rather than an EP. At least two more tracks would've contemplated in this amazing listen. Otherwise, it's an underrated masterpiece that needs to be heard!

More Evil Than Ever Before... - 89%

TheKEZ, February 5th, 2012

In the five years that passed since their debut, it seems Ceremonium have accepted their depression and moved on to a much more evil outlook on life. Whilst this still retains some of the sense of melancholy as 'Into The Autumn Shade', the prevailing atmosphere is more aggressive, tense and grim, if you will.

The mid-tempo death metal sections of the former album have evolved into fastier, nastier entities resembling early Darkthrone more than they do Bolt Thrower (We even get a monumental cover of Darkthrone's 'Cromlech' thrown in for good measure!) Opener 'No Silent' wastes no time, raging out of the speakers with a cold fury, whilst 'Delusions of Grandeur' combines some truly prummelling riffery with a distinguished sense of melancholy. The doom still prevails however, just wrap your ears round 'Pillars Of Wisdom''s final moments!

The drumming shines through much more on this record than the last, and sounds a little bit more technical. The guitar sound is a lot more prominent too, and the bass has a more substantial tone. Vocally, the deep vocals seem to have less reverb this time around, and they're complimented by some raspy high-pitched shrieks.

This record is a very different beast to it's predecessor, and it seems pointless to try and decide which is superior. The more evil sound they've adopted here works extremely well, and creates a very lean, heavy and satisfying album.