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Ceremony - Still Nothing Moves You (Cover Artwork)

Ceremony

Ceremony: Still Nothing Moves YouStill Nothing Moves You (2008)
Bridge Nine Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's hard to place exactly what, but Still Nothing Moves You is missing something. It's certainly not irony; Ceremony's Violence Violence and their followup 7", Scared People, certainly knew how to move people. If you saw the crowd at This Is Hardcore 2007, or the general ruckus they've been causing.
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It's hard to place exactly what, but Still Nothing Moves You is missing something. It's certainly not irony; Ceremony's Violence Violence and their followup 7", Scared People, certainly knew how to move people. If you saw the crowd at This Is Hardcore 2007, or the general ruckus they've been causing in VFWs, rental halls and shitty clubs across the country for the last few years, you have to wonder: Why the bitterness of their sophomore full-length's moniker?

Anyway, if there's disappointments to be had with the album, one might argue that the band went overboard on getting a raw recording. Abandoning Castle Ultimate Studios, where the band had recorded everything prior in their career, they chose to track the record with Dan Rathbun at Polymorph Recording in the band's home city of Oakland. Ross Farrar's vocals seem smothered by everything else, while the instruments themselves are muffled. It's definitely an ugly and grueling production job, but maybe too much so.

Musically, Still Nothing Moves You is a generally solid record with plenty of standout moments. Their bizarre instrumental interludes may not be as pacesetting or mesmerizing as they'd ideally intended, but Ceremony have further abandoned the fuck-all, one-after-another power-violence attacks to better vary their approach, nonetheless one still indebted to rabid mid-`80s hardcore.

And hey, if nothing else, the guest vocal spots are total highlights. When Sabertooth Zombie's Cody Sullivan comes in with his cue on "The Difference Between Looking and Seeing," the band offer a slow-down so methodical you'll want to punch through every piece of plaster in the room. Blacklisted's George Hirsch should provoke similar reactions when he makes his own very brief cameo concluding "Entropy: No Meaning Is Also an Answer," frustratingly screaming the most basic of ideas: "I won't find answers finding myself / can't find myself when there's nothing to find."

That might be another thing: Ceremony's lyrics have always been sort of silly, but certain moments on Still Nothing Moves You really take the cake and refrain from an otherwise apocalyptic nature that Farrar seems to narrate. How can you not crack up when he yells "Fuck the government with your fist"? The personification of religion in "He - god - Has Favored Our Undertakings" is both vehement and hilarious ("I won't be skull-fucked by faith / I am the upside down cross"); don't kid yourself, though -- next time you see the band, you know you'll be singing along to these very lyrics, albeit with a smirk.

Ceremony is a band consistently shrouded in mystery, and their new album largely keeps them on that course. Whether or not that's affected Still Nothing Moves You is debatable, but so is the fact that it offers plenty of material that will continue to move you, even if Farrar is rolling on the ground pulling his tank top over his eyes during an expertly etched hardcore firebombing or admitting he can't even feel his imagination.

STREAM
The Difference Between Looking and Seeing
He - god - Has Favored Our Undertakings

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
atomicgarden89 (June 12, 2009)

I think this is Ceremony's best album for sure. I think the Production is great. I mean... It's great at not being great. I live in the east bay, so all my friends bands record at Castle Ultimate, and they're way too polished. Especially for Ceremony. If you listen to Violence, Violence and than go to a Ceremony show right after, your in for a surprise. Because, the two don't sound a god damn thing alike.

epoch (September 4, 2008)

erff: yes. you are. and you're dumb for it.

erff (September 2, 2008)

Am I the only person that thinks verse isn't good?

R3vengeTherapy (September 2, 2008)

Why's everyone down on the vocals? I think everything sounds great. Better than Violence, Violence.

DrGunn (September 1, 2008)

yeah, i have no problem whatsoever with the recording. or the vocals for that matter (that's one of my favorite parts).

conduit (September 1, 2008)

I love the recording quality personally. It's not like we're going into Darkthrone territory or something.

deadxlast (September 1, 2008)

New Underoath album clearly takes the title of best hXc record of the year.

As much as I like Ceremony, I'm worried that they made the production sound even shittier on this record. Shitty production != more punx. Overproduced records sound even worse, but still, finding a happy medium shouldn't be that hard.

friokir (September 1, 2008)

well, I'd say the production sounds very live-ish. which is good in my opinion, but yeah, the vocals...

mikexdude (September 1, 2008)

What's that like, I've never heard of 'em?

sugarfull (September 1, 2008)

I'm kinda leaning towards Capsule for hardcore album of the year. What do you guys think?

mikexdude (August 31, 2008)

I am going with Brian, Aggression is killer.

strizzmatik (August 31, 2008)

Musically, kick-ass. His vocals completely ruin it at times though.

Laurier (August 31, 2008)

Decent album hXc album of the year is still Cursed - III though.

xIxKilledxJesusx (August 31, 2008)

subpar band in general.. id say the new STYG is the hardcore album of the year.. unless Final Fight puts something out before the end..

im surprised them and DANGERS get no love on here

victim (August 31, 2008)

Fair enough victim, but do you really think this is the best album hardcore album of 2008? I don't, which was my point

I don't really know if it is or not. It may be my favorite, I'm not usre. The new Fucked Up is pretty long so I've only listened to it once all the way through. I also liked the EP by Deny Everything, which is almost long enough to be a full length in this genre (compare with Trash Talk lol)

I'm also very much looking forward to the new Lords album

Mostly its just opinion though. I thought Violence Violence was one of the best hardcore albums ever though, so I'm biased. This one is not as good as that IMO but I still like it alot. Whereas I have no interest in Verse, Have Heart or PiB for whatever reason

inagreendase (August 31, 2008)

It really boggles my mind that there isn't an overwhelming majority who think Aggression blows away everything else they've done.

If you asked me two years ago how I'd rank Ceremony-Have Heart-Verse, it'd be as such, but their new releases definitely turned that on its head this year.

conduit (August 31, 2008)

"Posted by mikexdude on 2008-08-30 17:41:40

To the person below:

I LOVE Ceremony, but really? Best hardcore album?

Paint It Black, Verse, Have Heart... and this is the best?"

Paint It Black are an awesome band and New Lexicon is definitely up there with the best hardcore records this year. Verse are also an awesome band but Aggression just doesn't grab me like From Anger And Rage, Rebuild, and even their 4 song demo did. It's still good, just not as memorable.

Have Heart are most definitely trying to bite Modern Life Is War's style now that they are gone more then anything, which is cool but I don't think they pull it off very well. I love the sound they are going for but I think they were better off where they were at with The Things We Carry. And for all the hype this band gets live, they were pretty weak the one time I saw them.

SloaneDaley (August 31, 2008)

for the life of me I can't get into this band.

rancor (August 31, 2008)

To the reviewer: While Cody Sullivan isn't busy not playing bass in LLT anymore, he sings in SABERTOOTH ZOMBIE.

DrGunn (August 31, 2008)

i think the only real competition this album has for best hc album of 2008 is motherfucking CURSED.

mikexdude (August 31, 2008)

Fair enough victim, but do you really think this is the best album hardcore album of 2008? I don't, which was my point.

I love musical discussions.

victim (August 31, 2008)

I like Ceremony alot better than Verse or Paint It Black. Paint It Black are just uninteresting to me, and Verse is kind of generic-y.

But thats my opinion only

danpib08 (August 30, 2008)

I am with you Mike totally, I agree as well the new Verse does pretty much suck. Those three bands are amazing though.

danpib08 (August 30, 2008)

the problem with fire you are a total moron, Paint It Black are an incredible band and New Lexicon is the record the year.

mikexdude (August 30, 2008)

I'm not always an asshole. :-/

the_problem_with_fire (August 30, 2008)

well, you responded much nicer to my message than i would have thought. sounds fair enough. i still need to hear this. i've heard one song and the production wasn't great sounding

mikexdude (August 30, 2008)

Well, I'm not saying Ceremony's bad or anything, they're one of my favorite hardcore bands. But you have to listen to this album; it is just okay compared to the three top sellers in 2008.

Have Heart isn't boring to me 'cause I've learned to appreciate their subtle melodic characteristics, inredible musicianship, rythmic catchiness... and especially on that last record, they avoid the whole cheesy hardcore lyrics with some really personal words.

Verse... I never got the whole Bane comparison. They're heavy, but they take some different approaches... Verse uses a more standard rythmic approach with their lyrics and vocals, while Bane just sounds like he's ranting and has no set scheme or anything. Also, Verse uses jazzier chords and tends to stray from powerchords that Bane used until the Note, which is barely enough to judge on. I hear no GB coping.

Paint It Black? Not memorable? So wrong.

I will agree, on the terms you said below, they destory them all with their previous records, but not this.

the_problem_with_fire (August 30, 2008)

i haven't heard this, so i'm only basing what i'm going to say on Ceremony's last release(s)...

HAVE HEART SOUNDS LIKE A SLOWER VERSION OF BANE. THEY ARE BORING. Paint it Black is doing NOTHING new or memorable at all. Plus it's just flat out weak to name your hardcore band after a Rolling Stones song. and VERSE has got that bad case of the Bane coping going on too, except now they think they're Rage Against the Machine meets the Gorilla Biscuits. whoa, talk about naming dropping....

Fact is, in terms of being flat out loud, fast, angry and heavy (something i think we'd all agree are what hardcore, at least musically speaking, brings to mind), Ceremony eats all those bands for breakfast.

mikexdude (August 30, 2008)

To the person below:

I LOVE Ceremony, but really? Best hardcore album?

Paint It Black, Verse, Have Heart... and this is the best?

conduit (August 30, 2008)

What I really don't get is all these kids coming out and saying how lame a short line like "fuck the government with your fist" is, acting like hardcore consists of nothing else but masters of the written word. Aside from maybe that one line (and it works well in the song), this album has some of the best lyrics in hardcore right now period, although they may be blunt and to the point, they get their message across well. The recording is somewhat rough in areas while ultra clear in others because it benefits how crazy the songwriting is.

This is probably the best hardcore record of the year, so it makes complete sense that kids are saying it's nothing special while the worship the ground Trash Talk walk on.

The hype moves on!

Oh yeah, and Cody Sullivan sings in an amazing band called Sabertooth Zombie. Score is for this record and that band.

mikexdude (August 30, 2008)

Honestly, this album doesn't deserve anything more than a mediocre score; their first 2 releases were classics, but can you keep putting out classics... how far can you go with this style of music?

Besides, I feel Ceremony is strictly a live band, so chances are, these songs will really shine then. But not on a record.

DrGunn (August 30, 2008)

i still need a couple more plays before i decide how it stacks up vs violence violence, but there is no question in my mind that this is a fucking rager. one of the best hc bands (studio or live) currently playing.

erff (August 30, 2008)

Good review. score is for the review and album.

robyourselfblind (August 30, 2008)

saw them in a backyard out in dix hills tonight. whole lotta fun.

sugarfull (August 29, 2008)

This album...didn't move me.

red_eye_inc (August 29, 2008)

Stellar live band, stoked for the tour with Blacklisted.

victim (August 29, 2008)

The first time I heard this without hearing the lyrics I heard Fuck..the..govern-ment then something garbled. When I read the lyrics I had to crack a smile

my brother heard me playing this and asked if it was in Japanese..

I'm not sure I quite understand the end of this review by the way..

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