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A-Sun Amissa – Ceremony In The Stillness

Oh to be a novice music lover entering the hallowed cloisters of the Gizeh record label for the very first time. One could easily conjure the wrong impression. The monochrome artwork, those gothic-tinged typefaces….one could easily conjure images of some hermetic order, all sackcloth and furrowed brows.

We would be wrong but not…. totally. Gizeh are serious about their art but not deadly so and their releases reflect that dedication. A Sun Amissa are a perfect fit for the Manchester-based imprint. I think this is their third long player for Gizeh and fourth overall. Richard Knox provides the through line as is fairly typical for the label. The label head contributes to many of its eclectic projects. However we will not hear the rich timbre of Knox’s voice on A-Sun Amissa. Ceremony In The Stillness is an instrumental-only release in the vein of first wave post-rock and neoclassical. Wordless then, but boy does the new album have heft.

Ceremony In The Stillness sounds assured to the point of mighty. This is a collection of doom-laden post-rock except that description doesn’t do it any justice whatsoever. There’s might here, but subtlety also. At times they are ambient. At others, they border upon post-metal, but it is the whole journey that satisfies most here. Heavy slabs of discordant guitars give way to deliciously dark, evocative ambient drone. The central pairing of ‘To The Ashes’ and ‘The Skulk’ (loving the titles) are borderline Lynchian with saxophones implying troubled sleep or restlessness. The album’s triumph for my money is the colossal ‘No Perception Of Light’, which quietly blazes like The God Machine covering Thee Silver Mount Zion. It is really quite excellent.

For fans of Jesu, Isis, God Is An Astronaut, GY!BE and of course any Gizeh artist.

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