Funeral doom beasts Cessation carve ugly pathways to psyche on devastating one-track demo

It’s a weird time of the year to retreat into darkness, bone-chilling cold, and uncompromising misery, but here we are, basking in it anyway. Actually, just because it’s summer and it’s warm doesn’t mean that pain and agony retreat for a few months. That shit tends to fester, boil beneath the surface, and eat right into your wiring at the worst possible time.

That kept spreading through my brain as I visited Cessation’s self-titled debut demo, a single-track mauler that brings ashen funeral-style doom into the forefront and does whatever it can to black out your hopes. Comprised of two members of death/doom beasts Mordom—vocalist/drummer/guitarist Nathan Gonzalez and guitarist/bassist Max Hoffman—combine to put you through the ringer for 20 minutes, pounding you over and over with plodding intensity as they unleash their darkness for all to see and experience. It’s a harrowing journey through the darkest of humanity.

“Abyss of Desolation” is the lone cut, a 20:12-long bruiser that starts with a gloomy charge and doomy chugs as the growls boil, and suddenly we’re trudging really hard. The playing goes off the rails as the drums rattle, and we’re headfirst into murky doldrums, firing up and blasting away, bringing caustic charges. The playing fades temporarily before being reborn into a harrowing, shadow-rich terrain, letting guitars drip into ice chips. Drums echo before the band starts landing heavy blows again as the bass coils and strikes, and the guitars add some unexpected warmth. The haze increases as the misery laps, the playing burns out, and we exit into thick, ominous clouds.

This is a particularly bleak portrait of doom as Cessation unloads on your fraying nerves and crumbling psyche with this self-titled demo that’s merely a hint of what’s to come. That’s a mosrbid possibility as this single track already is daunting and chilling, easily making you try to make copious lists of places where you can find safety. As this thing progresses, that list shortens before disappearing completely, as this force cannot be overcome or overwhelmed.

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