Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: Ceremonial - Ars Magicka

Ceremonial are a three piece black/thrash metal group from Chile. Though not quite as recently formed as some of the other bands that I've reviewed EPs for lately, the band came to life in 2010 and have only released a couple of demos previously. They're one of the newest acts in the catalog of recent independent groups picked up by the Blood Harvest label, and their latest album finds itself in the form of an EP titled Ars Magicka.

Genre: Black Metal, Thrash Metal
Label: Blood Harvest
Release Date: March 31st, 2014
  1. The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary
  2. A.-.R.-.C.-.
  3. Havohej
  4. Tribulations
Total Playtime: 13 minutes, 32 seconds

Official Website



Rating: 7.5/10





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Ceremonial are a three piece black/thrash metal group from Chile. Though not quite as recently formed as some of the other bands that I've reviewed EPs for lately, the band came to life in 2010 and have only released a couple of demos previously. They're one of the newest acts in the catalog of recent independent groups picked up by the Blood Harvest label, and their latest album finds itself in the form of an EP titled Ars Magicka.

While it's not unlike anything that has been heard before, Ars Magicka offers up an entertaining handful of blistering blackened thrash anthems that are comparable to that of early Toxic Holocaust. The guitar has a way of standing out with a reduced treble input, while the bass is left in charge of giving the content a much needed backing weight. Taking turns between frenzied tremolos and flurries of high octane solos, the guitar crafts a series of unoriginal yet entertaining structures, only deviating in tempo for the briefest of moments, such as during "Havohej". The bass backs the architectures with a roaring invasion of rapidly fingered lines that dance along to the rhythm set by the guitar.


With a machine gun quality, the drums fire away in the background with blast beats and gallops. The drummer does incorporate a few well timed, tight rolls and hi-hat accents that call to the attention of the listener; although as with the rest of the material, the beats and patterns that are displayed are your typical thrash expectations. The breath of life to the blackened feel of the material are the vocals, which are ghastly shrill growls loaded with a high dosage of echoes, making them stand out well in the whirlwind of crazed instruments.

As mentioned previously, Ars Magicka doesn't necessarily offer up anything new or unheard of; but the content within does provide an enjoyable thirteen and a half minutes of content that any thrash addict can appreciate. It's also produced in a slightly low grade quality, which further accentuates the blackened, nostalgic mood overall. The album itself is as chaotic as the cover art that comes with, though the art does look similar in style to that of Alone in the Grave by Bone Sickness (reviewed here). Give it a shot, and if you like what you hear then don't forget to support the band by purchasing the release via their Bandcamp page or by purchasing the vinyl through Blood Harvest.

Digital Download Provided by: Blood Harvest

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