Top positive review
on 27 August 2017
Admittedly I've come to this album rather late, but Ceremonials was the second studio album by Florence and the Machine released back in 2011.The production here is a challenging, atmospheric Rhapsody, very high-church, with harps, bells, shimmers, strings, booming drums, staccato percussion, and keyboards that become more and more prominent over the course of the album.
There are tempestuous ballads, with heroic soaring choruses all with an arty eccentricity and one can’t help but compare Welch’s siren vocals to the great Kate Bush, particularly on one of the album's most vast tracks, "Heartlines" which is turbulent and all wild tribal whacking, ranting, and bawling. Then there is "Never Let Me Go", a dirge that's a strange mixture of ethereal meets gothic rock. Ceremonials is indeed an immaculately produced album with big bold vocals that at times are full of deep despair and sound like a frenzied pagan gospel choir, so taken as a whole, for me at least, it’s not easy listening, but I guess that depends on what you're looking for. Four stars.