Jan 2018 07

Cease2Xist - Zero FutureCease2Xist
Category: Electro / Industrial
Album: Zero Future
Blurb: Staying true to the band’s nihilistic subject matter, the fourth album from Cease2Xist may not tread new musical ground, but shows a greater lyrical and conceptual growth.


Founded in 2010 by Dayve Yates, Cease2Xist has spent the better part of the decade establishing a darkly enticing presence in the electro/industrial scene; reveling in themes of pessimism and nihilism, the U.K. act has struck a chord with an audience in need of a hateful antidote to the world’s folly. Signing to Armalyte Industries and spending the last three years on this fourth album, Cease2Xist takes its pernicious sound into more conceptual territory inspired by William Blake’s poem “Auguries of Innocence.”

Indeed, the first four tracks of Zero Future plunge adeptly into Blake’s bleak worldview as the music paints a grim picture of standing on the precipice of existence, embracing the infinite. The pounding beats, distorted stabs, and distant voices of “Remove the Head of the Snake” take us directly into “Make the World a Bitter Place,” Yates’ guttural and screeching vocals howling amid scathing bass lines and shrill atmospheres underscored by infectious rhythms. “Mechanical Medicine” follows with the vocoder effects in the verses bearing a semblance to latter day Front Line Assembly with a more rocking and robotic edge as the pulsating distortions and excellent synth arpeggios make for one of the album’s most striking tracks. “Take Comfort in the Void” is sure to fire up many a DJ set with the refrains of “Don’t let the beast become you” and “You can’t win this battle when there’s nothing to win” continuing the album’s dichotomous themes, swells of synth leads and pads giving the track a fair bit sonic intrigue that doesn’t quite lift it beyond the dance floor. Similarly, “Bosozuku Nights” hits with some nicely distorted electronics and bouncy rhythms evoking the sense of driving through a ruined metropolis at breakneck speed; samples from AKIRA notwithstanding, it’s one of the best tracks on Zero Future, while “Dirty World” infuses a nice dose of erotic menace. The title track ends things with ominous industrial ambience and abrasively choppy vocal effects atop almost hip-hop-esque rhythms, leading to an almost symphonic coda of warbling bass drones and strings following a malevolent chanting/marching section. It feels almost anticlimactic… but perhaps that is how the world ends.

Just as Blake’s poem does, Zero Future presents a series of paradoxical themes that are true to all that we’ve heard from Cease2Xist. The juxtaposition of life and death, beauty and ugliness, good and evil all play a part in this album, with Dayve Yates giving sound to the darker side for those unwilling or unable to see the light. While the music remains in the particular electro/industrial niche that Cease2Xist has settled in, the greater attention paid to lyrical growth makes Zero Future a worthy addition to anybody’s apocalyptic soundtrack.
Track list:

  1. Remove the Head of the Snake
  2. Make the World a Bitter Place
  3. Mechanical Medicine
  4. Augury and Innocence
  5. Dirty World
  6. Take Comfort in the Void
  7. Bosozuku Nights
  8. Zero Future

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Armalyte Industries
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Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Bandcamp (Cease2Xist)
Bandcamp (Armalyte Industries)
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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