With their first record since 2015’s The L-Shaped Man, Ceremony have returned and continued to expand on their post-punk sound. Seeing Ceremony live is always a fantastic experience, as the band can jump forward and backward through their discography and elicit crowd reactions from pile ons and mosh pits to synchronized bouncing and bopping. While the heavy turn towards Joy Division-esque post-punk was jarring for a segment of their fanbase that longed for the sub minute hardcore bangers found on their earlier albums, it was never really that surprising leading up to that album.

In The Spirit World Now further expands on those sounds but in a more upbeat vibe when compared to L-Shape. Producer Will Yip knocked it out of the park on the dry and upfront drum tones, allowing the vocals and guitar/synth to shimmer with ambience. The title track is very upbeat and synth driven while chorus soaked guitars stab across the stereo spectrum. Vocalist Ross Farrar takes his vocal delivery into a much more melodic territory then we’ve heard in the past, and it really makes this album stand out. The strong vocal harmonies and background vocals help emphasize the catchy hooks found throughout the album.

Tracks like “Further I Was” and “Goodbye To Them” are standouts for the rhythm section, both drummer Jake Casarotti and bassist Justin Davis are the driving force on much of the album. The twin guitar attack of Anthony Anzaldo and Andy Nelson often take a step back to let the driving rhythms dominate the mix or enforce the synth riffs.

Chelsea Wolfe brings an ethereal vibe to the bridge section of album opener, ”Turn Away The Bad Thing” and is a proper preview of the overall strong vibe of the album. I found myself nodding along to the upbeat tempos on my various listens of the record, and I think this record will satisfy fans old and new alike. I would almost argue that this sonically bridges the gap between the band's previous two records, but that's one man's opinion.

In The Spirit World Now is available now via Relapse Records, stream the first released single and album opener “Turn Away The Bad Thing” below: