Release DetailsLABEL Svart Records
RELEASED ON 9/18/2012
... one gets the impression that the band might be better off plugging their skills in elsewhere, as they aren’t particularly adept at their primary focus.
Finland’s Seremonia comes right at the height of this occult-doom/rock-with-female-vocals trend that is currently all over the place. (Evidently certain folks call this shit “vest metal?” I had no idea…) So naturally you could amend their genre tag to call them occult-doom/rock-with-Finnish-female-vocals. The sound is the usual amalgamation of 60s acts such as Cream, Blue Cheer, and Jefferson Airplane (minus talents that even begin to approach those of Grace Slick), and more metallic groups like Sabbath and Pentagram (mostly the 70s material). The band’s eponymous debut shows flashes of near-greatness from time to time, but due to haphazard song arrangements and an apparent lack of real passion out of the band members, falls well short of not only its influences but many of its contemporary peers.
Most of the songs on Seremonia make at least a decent first impression, if not a very good one, due to the quality of the band’s riffs. From the proto-Pentagram / Witchcraft mold used in “Uhrijuhla” or more plodding doom of “Huutava Taivas, Kuiskaava Maa” to the “Sunshine of Your Love”-ness of “Rock ‘n Rollin Maailma” and upbeat boogie of “Kosminen Ruumisvaunu,” it’s clear that the band has a knack for catchy lines, but beyond that the cracks really begin to show. Many of the songs meander without direction, or are hampered by sloppy performances (particularly by the drums and guitars) or a lack of songwriting development (lazy vocal melodies). Further, it is clear that Seremonia is attempting to create some sort of haunting atmosphere, but because there is little conviction behind the performances, this intent falls flat. Only on “Antikristus 666” does the spooky vibe really come across, and by this point the album’s shortcomings have sunk in so deep as to minimize the effects. Due to the success of the aforementioned (and harder rockin’) “Kosminen Ruumisvaunu,” or the flute-laden half experimentation of closer “Hautakiven Varjossa,” one gets the impression that the band might be better off plugging their skills in elsewhere, as they aren’t particularly adept at their primary focus. A shame, but a not uncommon occurrence with acts just getting their feet wet.
To say that Seremonia is devoid of quality and promise would be a lie, as there are some good ideas here, and the occasionally great riff, but none of it matters if the band doesn’t want it. Overall this sounds like a rough cut demo by a band that needs a lot of work. Judging by how unexcited (and unpracticed) Seremonia sounds over the majority of this debut, it’s hard to imagine that they’ll put in the time necessary to even remotely realize the potential that is hidden within these songs.