Given that I can listen to The Unreal Never Lived repeatedly without ever remotely glimpsing boredom, it would take quite a feat for this trio to top that record with their new release. Still, I'm finding The Great Cessation to be a very enjoyable listen. It's not as demanding a listen, the riffs being generally more straightforward with less overt psychedelia, but there is something to be said for this record's simplicity.
I know a few people whose major complaint with YOB had been their tendency to meander and repeat excessively. There is little of that here; the songs are shorter and more focused, much like those on Middian's sole release, Age Eternal. However, the tempos have slowed again to proper YOB levels, eliciting those strains of dread and feelings of being gradually dragged ever downward.
So far my only issues with this record is the lack of immediately memorable riffage. For all its supposed excesses, The Unreal Never Lived had these in spades and some of the major themes and phrases on The Great Cessation seem more like b-side material from those sessions. They're all still really good, but they don't blow me away. Perhaps with some time and a few more listens I'll find myself humming these at work or something, but at the moment it's still too new.
Despite any minor complaints that I have at the moment, I like the album and consider it a continuation of good form. It's not perfect, but I wouldn't have expected such right off the bat. If these guys gel—