CD Review: Ceremonial Oath - The Book Of Truth (Re-Issue)

ceremonialoath thebookoftruth
Artist: Ceremonial Oath
Title: The Book Of Truth
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: 25th January 2013
Label: Century Media Records


Album Review

CEREMONIAL OATH were formed under the name DESECRATOR back in 1989 and released three demos, two full-lengths and one EP until they dissolved in 1995. Their music has been rather influential and musicians of the band later joined or founded well-known formations like IN FLAMES or HAMMERFALL. Hence, the early roots of those bands are worth listening to and the re-issue of 1993’s ‘The Book Of Truth’ provides a good opportunity. The re-issue consists of two CDs, the first one contains the album in itself which is made up of ten chapters and a prologue to underline the book-theme. CD 2 contains nine demo songs also from the DESECRATOR era. Stile-wise, the CDs are different, because the album provides solid and uncompromising Death Metal from the 90s, whereas the demos show a tumultuous, young and Venom-influenced mixture of various extreme metal layers.

‘Prologue: Sworn To Avenge’ is a short instrumental, that veers towards the first section of ‘The Book Of Truth’, ‘Chapter I: The Invocator’. The lyrics are very harshly uttered and indistinct, only to be understood with difficulty. This is underlined by a very flexible song structure, a mixture between fast and grooving riff opposed to slower, melodic parts. ‘Chapter II: For I Have Sinned – The Praise’ can also be compared to the demo version and includes a voice speaking Latin. In general, this song is rather brutal and dominated by the raw vocals. This is further increased by the relatively clear, re-arranged production of the album. The guitar-parts sound demanding and even complex at times, even though a straight-in-your-face mood and attitude prevails. Not only are the songs named in successive chapters, they also appear to be inter-connected concerning the topics (evil, sin, questioning religion) and are in logical, musical order. Yet, the riffs and the music is quite repetitive and intentionally monotonous. A lot of influential elements like melodic guitar leads, grooving drums and almost catchy lines can be heard, which are probably to be re-discovered in the musicians’ later works. “The Book Of Truth” in itself is a closed ‘book’, which gives insight into a lot of creativity and potential.

On the second CD, some demo versions from ‘The Book Of Truth’ are included, offering the listener the possibility to compare. In general, those songs are a bit more imperfect and produced in a relatively basic way, which fits the music very well though. The songs performed as DESECRATOR are a different story, since influences from VENOM and Speed Metal are highly audible. Somehow, the vocals contain high-pitched as well as clear-sung elements and are definitely a matter of taste. Yet, the documentation of the very early years is somehow entertaining and rewarding in its own, special and somehow young-naïve way. In general, the re-issue of ‘The Book Of Truth’ is a must-have compilation for any fan of Swedish Death Metal, and maybe also of interest to fans of IN FLAMES and HAMMERFALL, to see the roots of those musicians. The booklet also includes a fair amount of background-information.


Tracklist

CD1
01. Prologue: Sworn To Avenge 01:04
02. Chapter I: The Invocator 03:16
03. Chapter II: For I Have Sinned - The Praise 05:25
04. Chapter II: Enthroned 05:17
05. Chapter IV: Only Evil Prevails 05:34
06. Chapter V: Thunderworld 02:27
07. Chapter VI: Lords Of Twilight 05:40
08. Chapter VII: Ceremonial Oath 07:36
09. Chapter VIII: The Lost Name Of God 03:52
10. Chapter IX: The Book Of Truth 01:51
11. Chapter X: Hellbound 03:40

CD2
01. Intro: The Hour Between Darkness And Dawn 01:38
02. Remains Of Death 05:53
03. Force Of Habit 04:50
04. A Nocturnal Predator 02:49
05. Into The Abyss Of Hell 05:58
06. The Invocator 04:01
07. Necrosis 08:41
08. The Lost Name Of God 03:42
09. For I Have Sinned / The Praise 05:22


Line-up

Oscar Dronjak – vocals, guitar
Anders Iwers – guitar
Jesper Strömblad – bass
Markus Nordberg – drums


Website

www.facebook.com/CeremonialOathOfficial


Cover Picture

ceremonialoath thebookoftruth


Rating

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Extras: -
Total: 8 / 10





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