The album was released a few months ago. Dammit, I guess I was too busy gaming to write a review at the time, which is kind of ironic. Anyway, here’s my take on the latest offering from Cease2Xist.
Gaming music is still the future, those fantasy dystopian soundscapes, found in the new Doom soundtrack to various indie games or expected in the pending Cyberpunk 2077. With this in mind C2E provide a hard hitting album which would be perfectly placed on any bleak future RPG. Or simply, in any bleak future we are soon to face.
Listening to this I’m taken away to a dirty city, neon lit streets at night, litter blowing around me and the broken souls slumped against advertising boards for world that’s denied to them. Human trash just trying to survive for fear they may cease to exist.
‘It’s a dirty dirty world… you cant stay clean in a world this dirty’ (Dirty World)
Then you realise they are taking about today, not the future. C2E muse on the current climate of political and social atrocities which we are hammered with on a daily basis. We are already in our own dystopia. We cant deny this.
C2E shun some of the clichés of most dystopia with gratifying lyrics and thankfully avoid saturated film samples. Their own lyrical contents are good enough, be it via screaming or well-placed use of vocoders. Who needs film samples to fill in gaps when C2E are bursting with fine synth riffs and chuggy goodness. Its nearly impossible to not head bang to tracks like Make the World a Bitter Place.
The album nails an attention to detail with plenty of risers, multi layered percussion, FX, synth screamers and pulses etc and drawing in sounds from classical, world music and metal. Its incredibly busy without sounding lost or confusing, comparable to any Savant album for complexity.
Some of the tracks may take a while to grow on you as they are not instantly accessible, but why should they be? This is dystopia after all.
It’s a harsh sound but still has a very British feel, different to Continental or American tastes. This is the sound of cyberpunk now and thoroughly enjoyable. Title track Zero Future finishes off the album, and strips back the music to almost bare bones, utterly bleak and relentlessly downbeat in contrast to the rest of the album. A great way to finish off a great album.
I have a feeling they are just one carefully crafted anthem away from being scene leaders.
Go see them live.
Favourite Track: Bosozuku Night (for that amazing riff)