Review: “Ceremorphosis” by Proceed On Your Way To Oblivion

The debut album “Ceremorphosis” from US Technical Death Metal force Proceed On Your Way To Oblivion is a mouth watering prospect for many reasons. Roots trace back to 2018 for the supergroup who have a writing axis of drummer Michael Ranne (Through The Eyes Of The Dead, My Bitter End, Coma Cluster Void) and guitarist Steve Visone (We Are The Romans) with lyrics handled by vocalist Shane Jost (Cognitive , Proletariat) leaving Nick Weyers on bass (Aronious). Steve Visone tracked lead guitars with Scott Carstairs (Fallujah) at his home in LA and Arde Ostari (Burning The Masses) as well before drums, rhythm guitars, vocals, re-amping and engineering were done by Michael Menocker at Backyard Boogie (my own studio) Recordings. Add to that the weight of a trio of guests guitarists (who live will be represented by Steven Funderburk, who is now a full-time member on second guitar) and you should get what we mean. Signed to Blood Blast Distribution, the imprint label of Nuclear Blast Records, the name of the band was taken from a line by Unicron, a character in the 1986 animated motion picture Transformers the Movie, although quite a bit of the subject matter contained in the lyrics deal in Dungeons and Dragons lore.

Coming to life with a mosh pit inciting instrumental in “Meteor Swarm“, Proceed On Your Way To Oblivion throw off the weight of expectation with the ferocious album title track, a Technical Death Metal cut that reaches into the void of Slam with Shane Jost having an incredible unclean range. The drums hit like an artillery shelling during the darkest of storms, the intense rhythmic battery allowing for some incredible and intricate lead guitar moments which is where some moments of melody are found. It’s a gargantuan beast of undeniable complexity with moments previously unheard popping out of the mix with each subsequent listen. “Beholder” then follows suit, a rampaging gallop at breakneck speed through an abundance of technical leads. The vocal layering on this one in particular is incredible, Jost using different tones intertwined which give the impression of multiple vocalists on the track while the staccato riff breaks edge towards breakdown territory in brutal fashion. It’s a whirlwind that you must ride while at the same time being accessible and downright circle pit worthy. “Atrophic Radiance” features the first of a trio of guest guitarists in Steven Funderburk of Wretched, Through The Eyes Of The Dead who adds a je nes se quoi to the cut, another vicious little ditty that has no end to the restless and relentless percussive battery. The guitars are slick and helter skelter in style, flying from the sinister and menacing to the bludgeoning in fretboard smoking seconds without a momentary pause for breath. This one has a surprise solo that offers something more epic in nature before closing on a more Progressive note which perhaps showcases that Fallujah influence.

There is no lead into a melodic soft center however with “Deal With The Devil” matching the fire of intensity of those earlier cuts stride for stride. Jost counterbalances a higher pitched squealed vocal with a harsh bark as this one plays out like a classic Horror film befitting of the title and while it might be short of a vibrant solo it still has all the thrills and spills needed to make for a skull crusher. The name can be said of “The Whispered One” which what the kind of lead work you might expect from Inferi, dancing on the brain like a designer drug with Visone demonstrating the kind of fretboard smouldering dexterity that makes other guitarists look lazy in comparison. The second guest spot on the album belongs to Craig Peters of Deeds Of Flesh as “Ravenloft” decimates the weak and separates them from the herd with a masterclass in Technical Death Metal of the finest order because this single cut is the complete package, the magnum opus of the album. “Reap What You Sew” is another bullet ride, sounding like Between The Buried And Me putting their own spin on an Archspire cover with some distilled moments that need to be listened to again and again to be fully appreciated. A moment of sublime majesty comes with a Progressive Death Metal introduction to final cut “The Natural End” which features the third and final guest appearance as Joseph Mabry of Capstan joining the party. That then drives into the bands signature style with staccato riff breaks and savage throat splitting vocals before a haunting bridge that sends chills down the spine. “Ceremorphosis” will leave your ears bleeding while at the same time your brain will cry out for more [8/10]

Track Listing

1. Meteor Swarm (Instrumental)
2. Ceremorphosis
3. Beholder
4. Atrophic Radiance (ft. Steven Funderburk of Wretched, Through The Eyes Of The Dead)
5. Deal With The Devil
6. The Whispered One
7. Ravenloft (ft. Craig Peters of Deeds Of Flesh)
8. Reap What You Sew
9. The Natural End (ft. Joseph Mabry of Capstan)

Ceremorphosis” by Proceed On Your Way To Oblivion is out 23rd September 2022 via Blood Blast Distribution

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