Ceremony make their Relapse Records debut with their highly ambitious new album, In the Spirit World Now! The album sees Ceremony at the height of their creative output, as the always-evolving Rohnert Park quintet take various influences from post punk and rock to create one of the summer's most compelling and infectious records.
In the Spirit World Now is full of layered sonic fury and anxiety, each song building up to a point and then descending down through a militant, catchy hook. Turn Away the Bad Thing sets the tone, guitars climbing around the driving bass line, as Ross Farrar sings, “It’s getting harder for me to be alright / Eyes adjusting to the dark / The momentum of all these last resorts built inside of me.” Songs like Presaging the End and Calming Water feel romantic and distressed, while Further I Was and Years of Love are driven by Farrar’s rebellious energy as he repeats the hook with a deadpan realness. “Years of love can be forgotten / In the hatred of a day.” But the true stand-out is the title track, In the Spirit World Now, a haunting pop gem with a sticky chorus and lead synth riff that plants itself in your head as Farrar chants the track’s name over and over like a mantra.
In the Spirit World Now is a sort of nebulous and ectoplasmic place where things may not be quite what they seem,” he says. “It means shit is about to get weird.” The album marks a milestone for this Northern California punk outfit who have stayed true to themselves as songwriters throughout massive sonic growth throughout their storied career.