Both Ceremony and A Place to Bury Strangers were born in the wake of Skywave, a neo-shoegaze outfit from Fredericksburg, VA. While APTBS's 2007 debut took up the mantle of volume, packing decibels like landmines, Ceremony's first proper full-length stresses speed. Disappear reimagines the pop song-meets-distorted guitar blueprint by grounding it in electro-style drum machines. The result is 11 brief tracks that race forward even when they beg for time to develop. On the album's finer moments, the throbbing guitars and synths slow down and fuse with the monotonous melancholy of the vocals ("What was white/Now has turned to black") to capture the tedium of misery. "Never Love Again" sounds like New Order wrapped in a thick blanket of distortion. "Nothing Inside" and "Cold Cold Night," meanwhile, stick closer to sheer new wave homage. Only as it concludes does Disappear expand a bit. "Without Your Love" distills the terror of the dancefloor as its guitar lines build toward a howl, and "Miss You" decelerates for a glance over the shoulder at Synthstatic, Skywave's accomplished final album. Though more assured than Ceremony's debut CD-R, Disappear remains too monochrome to move decisively beyond such backward glances.
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AllMusic Review by Jeremy A. Schmidt