VoidCeremony - Threads of Unknowing
Progressive Death Metal
6 songs (36:44)
Release year: 2023
Bandcamp, 20BuckSpin
Reviewed by Goat

A relatively short yet very sweet treat from this mini-supergroup, featuring members of such underground idols as Mournful Congregation, Stargazer, and Chthe'ilist; old hands at extreme metal who are setting a distinct marker on this project from their main projects. VoidCeremony do have a little of the dissonant and cosmic death trends in their DNA, yet there's a lot of early 90s death metal there too, the Pestilences and Edges of Sanity that pushed the genre in new directions and are still yet to be surpassed by the vast majority of modern pretenders. Threads of Unknowing (the project's second full-length in ten years of existence) is more than a mere tribute act, however, as opener Threads of Unknowing (The Paradigm of Linearity) quickly makes clear. A full barrage of black-tinged prog/tech death quickly assaults your ears, the audible twangy bass and scurrying riffs hitting like a sped-up Morbid Angel in the best of ways. The band pack a lot into these three minutes, with pleasant Atheist-esque and almost fusion leads that take the pressure off your ears from the twisted, intense riffing and snarls.

It's just the start, however, as Writhing in the Facade of Time fades in. Here, the solos are more traditional and allowed to linger a little between the thrashy death of the riffing, more malign and ominous in effect a la Immolation complete with those little guitar squeals. The ending ambience is oddly like someone playing a mellotron in fog and allows the tension to dissipate before Abyssic Knowledge Bequeathed brings it back immediately with more brutality in its opening. Yet not for long, as the song develops the bass becomes something of a melodic instrument in its own right, upfront and above the churning guitars and even contrasting well with soloing thereafter. It's a real workout of a listen, exhausting in some ways as your mind struggles to keep up with the six minute-plus song, yet very rewarding for cerebral muscles and those in your neck with repeat listens.

A slight foray into blackened thrash realms in Entropic Reflections Continuum is kept under control thanks again to the loud bass and some impressive drumming from Charles Koryn (Ascended Dead, Funebrarum, many others) and At the Periphery of Human Realms (The Immaterial Grave) provides a widdle-strewn interlude with careful strums and ominous percussion. It sets the listener up perfectly for the eleven minute finale Forlorn Portrait: Ruins of an Ageless Slumber; a confident, rampaging track that uses its length very well indeed. Bursting forth aggressively, some more fusion-esque leads caress you before the pounding resumes, building into a chugging behemoth that speeds off into a vicious instrumental section only nodding at progressivism thanks to some of the basswork. The transitions between more and less melodic sections are smooth and seamless, the playing superb throughout, and by the time you reach the duelling solo section towards the end it's hard not to be in rapture. Death metal is rarely so delightful.

Killing Songs :
Writhing in the Facade of Time, Abyssic Knowledge Bequeathed, Forlorn Portrait: Ruins of an Ageless Slumber
Goat quoted 85 / 100
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