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3.25 out of 5 skulls

VoidCeremony Dystheism

“Dystheism” is the belief that a god/goddess is not wholly good as often espoused by the likes of Christianity and Judaism — said god or goddess could possibly even be evil. California’s VoidCeremony use their four song debut EP to outline their beliefs on the subject through a raw blend of black and death metal in, you guessed it, Dystheism.

Right from the start of “Ceremony of the Void,” you get a distinct, unpolished vibe as plundering guitars buzz relentlessly and rabid drum work fills the air. The sound is also a bit on the tinny side and not all that full of depth, but still works for the style of metal. Vocally, the guttural growls are indecipherable and blend into the miasmic buzz, serving more as an instrument than anything else. The opening track sets the tone well, but doesn’t really offer much in the way of anything we haven’t heard before — still, it’s energetic and spot on for some blasphemous, blackened death metal.

“Profane Accumulation of Execrable Reverence” takes a moment to build, but carries a bit of a domier vibe to it’s blackened, rotting tones. Once it gets going, however, all structure is lost as the group shifts, jumps and lurches from tempo to tempo and riff to riff, adding a new dimension to the grimy mix. There’s a good deal more dynamics within the buzzing guitars as well that’s refreshing. “Dystheism (Anti-Worship of the Demiurge)” sees drumming even steps up its game some as well, though it feels as if they are competing with the guitars at times. It’s a more developed sound showcased in this third track.

EP closer, “Lunar Qliphoth” sees the four piece even further develop their approach. Hell, there’s even a guitar solo thrown in for good measure. All in all, Dystheism is a solid enough debut, though I would like to see/hear a bit more cohesion between elements. At times it feels like they are bickering with one another like siblings in some blackened death metal family.

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