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Ceremonial Oath - Carpet (Reissue)

Ceremonial Oath
Carpet (Reissue)
by Neil Cook at 25 May 2020, 10:15 PM

For a band with a fairly short lived career, their grasp far exceeded their reach. Formed in Sweden, initially as DESECRATOR in 1989, they did issue a couple of demos under that name before changing it to CEREMONIAL OATH in '91.  They released 3 demos, 1 EP and two full length albums before splitting in '96.  “Carpet” is the second album.  The band touched other Melodeath and Metal bands, such as IN FLAMES, DARK TRANQUILITY, and AT THE GATES.

Unfortunately this doesn’t help the quality of the songs on offer on this album.  It probably doesn’t help there are two vocalists in action here. It doesn’t help the drums sound sloppy, out of time and played on a couple of old biscuit tins.  It certainly doesn’t help that the two guitarists are not in sync with each other, when playing the twin riffs.  Separately, there is some good riffage and solos, together, humm, it doesn’t work for me.

To my ears this album has the sound of a band fulfilling a contractual obligation.  Band members' minds already elsewhere, and having to bring in a guest vocalist to finish off the album, just has the one album too far feel to it.

Good points, very few.  Possibly the song “One Of Us – Nightshade” is the strongest song of original material on the album, it has the strongest vocal performance, and the best soloing. The acoustic outro is nice, well played, but feels distinctly like something bolted on to the song. Also the bonus track for this reissue is one of the strongest, it is a shame it takes someone else's song to make the band shine.  The cover of METALLICA’SDisposable Heroes” is not half bad.  The death growl take of the vocals is not POPPA HET, but isn’t bad.

It is a shame then the same cannot be said for the albums other cover, a truly awful version of IRON MAIDEN’S magnificent “Hallowed By Thy Name”, one of my all time favorite songs. I know a growler is never going to sound like Mr. BRUCE “AIR-RAID SIREN” DICKINSON, but the whole effort sounds like the half-arsed sound my old school band used to make when we tried to cover MAIDEN, and yes that includes my god awful vocals, and we only had one guitarist.

These guys have in recent times reformed to play a few shows at festivals and the like, good luck to them.  There must be an audience out there for them, and I hope this reissue doesn’t damage their reputation.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 4
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Day I Buried
2. Dreamsong
3. Carpet
4. The Shadow End
5. One Of Us - Nightshade
6. Immortalized
7. Hallowed Be Thy Name
8. Disposable Heroes (Bonus)
Lineup:
Anders Friden - Vocals
Tomas Lindberg - Vocals
Anders Iwers - Guitar
Mikael Andersson - Guitar
Tomas Johansson - Bass
Markus Nordberd - Drums
Record Label: Vic Records
     


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Edited 15 July 2020
 

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