I’m certainly late to the party with this release as it has been out since February. That being said I’m a good six months late, but that shouldn’t matter. Cessation was put out in February through 20 Buck Spin in Olympia,Washington. The album holds six songs that are not actually titled, they’re just numbered. With Dead in the Manger you get a menagerie of different genres. They bounce back and forth between black metal, death, grind and even pepper in some doom.
Cessation begins with some dissonant noises but quickly plunges into the deep dark inner workings of the album. After the opener the songs rip and tear with unrelenting power only slowing down occasionally. According to Dead in the Manger their goal is to play music that makes you unsettled and disturbed. They come close to that without going over board and making you actually disturbed.
With all of the punishing noise that this band emits they keep a melodic atmospheric edge about them still which is something that a lot of bands that are playing similar styles of music lack. The more melodic moments come when the vocalist isn’t shredding his vocal chords with high shrieks and the full on metallic assault subside for the moment. The very opening track begins with a more melancholy guitar intro that almost makes you believe that you will be listening to a depressive or atmospheric black metal album but that all quickly subsides however. On track three the majority of the song is melodic and establishes a certain atmosphere of despair, before you really get thrust into despair. The track begins with chugging guitars and pounding drums which continues for the entirety of the song. Entering the halfway point of the song a melancholy lead plays a part in your demise. During the later half the vocalist begins his shrieks over the slower almost doom style riffs.
Not everything is melodic however and that isn’t the point of the album either. The melodious moments exist to create more depth within the music. The bulk of Cessation is a pure fiery flesh-flaying death/grind assault. Once melodic seas subside the hurricane force musicianship shows up to turn you on your head. Flurries of stomping riffs bombard your ears as the somersaulting drums hit you in the chest like a sack of bricks. The gale force riffs give way to doom laden riffs at certain points in the album giving it more diversity and more to play off of.
Bouncing between musical genres can be a bit of a chore and if it isn’t done right then it sounds like a complete cluster fuck. However, Dead in the Manger manage to keep the genres separate never having one overshadow another. The black metal aspects are there in the haunting shrieks of the vocalist as well as the chaotic style of play. The death metal flavor is prominent as well with tight riffs and pounding drumming and the doom is there as well when needed providing a break from the ever prominent onslaught.
There is something in here for everyone. Whether you are just a death metal fan, or just a fan of black metal or just a fan of doom you can find something here that suits your tastes. All in all the album is a shredder and doesn’t apologize after it has sliced your face off.