Proceed On Your Way To Oblivion - Ceremorphosis
Nerds and metal fans rejoice because this right here is the perfect blend of brutal music set to just the right themes that those of us who grew up in the 80s are sure to love. Formed in 2018, Proceed On Your Way To Oblivion is a sort of supergroup from the U.S. cranking out tech death similar to that of Aborted and Origin. The songs hit hard, fast, with varied vocals shifts, and even hints of melody- so it doesn’t quite steamroll listeners but it sure doesn’t leave anyone with the feeling like their half assing it either. The title is taken from an old Transformer movie from the character Unicron and a lot of the lyrical content is actually based on Dungeon and Dragon spells, monsters, or places (even the artwork seems to depict a hybrid of Transformers and Mindflayers)… so hence the love of late 80s/ early 90s gaming/ cartoon lore.
The band is composed on a lot of death metal/ tech death veterans such as vocalist Shane Jost who is also of tech deathcore group Cognitive, Steve Visone on guitar from We Are the Romans, Steven Funderburk on guitar from Wretched, Michael Ranne on drums from Through the Eyes of the Dead, and Nick Weyers on bass from Aronius. Together, these guys are a force to be reckoned with concerning their debut album, “Ceremorphosis.”
After the foreboding build up of ‘Meteor Swarm' which is a bit ironic because D&D fans knows that spell simply slays and should expect obliteration, one gets into the title track which pretty much serves as the meat and potatoes of the album. One will definitely hear the jarring twists and turns that relate to Origin along with the mix of gurgled growls, snarls, and shrieks that keep the music varied. Drumming is certainly a highlight here next to the guitars for their work to keep up that crushing pace. ‘Atropic Radiance’ was one of the first singles released but sounds more like a mix of tech death and brutal death in the vein of Aborted. Nothing terrible here but nothing that hasn’t been heard before either.
‘The Whispered One’ shifts away from the tech death style a bit and focuses more on the brutal death metal. Here one gets just sheer wave of guitar and drum assault mixed with blast beats over and over, pretty much to the point that the drums seem like they have that machine gun fire click that is non stop to support the rest of the instrumentation and vocals. A little bit of Black Dahlia Murder influence here but nothing very melodic.
‘Ravenloft’ brings back more tech death elements but stays on the same level of brutality. Featuring a excellent guest solo from guitarist Craig Peters of Deeds Of Flesh this track definitely has a Deeds feel to it while Proceed still maintain to make it their own. ‘Reap What You Sew’ brings back more of that Aborted feel with the layered vocals but the guitars actually have some melody to them, something that has been missing for quite a bit on this album.
The closing ‘The Natural End’ is a very different track, and very special. Still rooted in tech death territory the direction is a bit more jazzy and proggy similar to Rivers of Nihil, but with no clean vocals. Things eventually pick up for the faster pace and a bit more of what was heard on ‘Beholder,’ but listeners can’t argue that this one will grab their interest by far. A bit Beneath the Massacre influenced it is a bit chuggy, but still features plenty of great guitar and drum moments even though the first half of the song just builds upon itself until hell is unleashed (they should have opened with this).
Overall, Proceed have a solid collection of songs that won’t feel like they go back too quick and show a bit of prowess gained from each member’s work with their other groups. Those who like metal and fantasy/ sci fi mixed together with a heavy focus on guitars and drums which getting a nearly 3 pronged vocal attack will find “Ceremorphosis” taking over their minds and ears soon enough.
4 / 5 STARS
Sep 26, 2022