Cecil – FATHOM TIME Album review


Reviewed by:
On 31 May 2020
Last modified:31 May 2020


To be found at the end of every rainbow for Cecil fans!


During lockdownCecil have mixed and mastered some never before heard tracks which we know you will love, so support these wonderful musicians during these desperate times by heading over to Bandcamp to pre-order their new 15 track album ‘FATHOM TIME’. Preview the song ‘Contender’  here https://theoriginalcecil.bandcamp.com/


Out of almost 600 reviews in 10 years, this is my most important one. In the mid 90’s I stumbled across a band called Cecil at the Tivoli in Buckley supporting The Jesus Lizard and they blew me away with a set that was tight but could have also gone off the rails. Fronted by the Tasmanian devil-like ball of energy Ste Williams, it was impossible to stick a genre label as they veered from indie to punk to jazz or even guitar-heavy headbangers as the band powered along behind him.

I caught a few more incendiary shows around this time, the most intense was a spotlight-stealing set when they opened up the Kerrang! stage at Donington in 1996 to a huge crowd who responded with as much rapture as they possibly could and I think that was the last time I saw them. Fast forward to 2020 and a bombshell dropped on their Facebook page announcing that Ste had dug out 15 unreleased demo tracks from the late 90’s/early 2000’s that were recorded in their rehearsal studio. Finding time to have them mastered, these gems are as raw as you like but all the better for it as it’s almost like being at a gig.

This emotional roller coaster of emotions kicks off with ‘Contender‘. Easing in with a gentle guitar/bass intro as Ste whispers his opening lines up to an aching croon. A bass guitar pulse heavies it up as twin guitar lines serrate for an eardrum piercing final minute. The calm before the storm intro to ‘Balancing Act‘ morphs into an electric feedback-drenched grind. ‘Cut Me Open‘ sees some pit opening riffing slam throughout and the heaviness increases from a distorted vocal and a locked-in tight rhythm section hammering away.

Cecil – Balancing Act from Fathom Time


Passing Torture‘ is a quirky number, even by their mashups. Jazzy tempos provide a foil for a lead vocal by Ste and backing vox from bassist Jay Bennett as it noodles along on a gentle breeze. Time to pogo around the room as ‘Three Charred Hats‘ is a Ramones like foot to the floor rager. ‘Karoshi‘ is a mental instrumental of piano, orchestral strings and sparse guitar all trying to reach the finishing line first. ‘Blatant Lie‘ is a short, sharp burst of ire, driven along by surging riffs, snappy snare work from Ally Lambert as a laid back midsection gives a slight moment of calm until Ste ends it with a full-on rant.

Shoreline‘ is all Thor hammer-like pounding dynamics. It’s truly seismic and heavy enough to make it my headbanging album highlight! ‘Plunge’ is soothing, sultry blues to massage your ears but beefs up for Ste to soar cathartically in the choruses. ‘Keep In Touch‘ is a feisty 4 minutes of amp blowing fuzzed-up madness with an angelic vocal, as it ends spooky with keyboards and off-kilter percussion. ‘Dead Hearts‘ has a tectonic plate shifting the main riff that would surely get any heart beating as a spotlight-stealing lead vocal is delivered with sheer conviction. ‘Sorry Son’ had me expecting a ballad but it races out of the blocks with aplomb, a caustic, no-frills song.

Like Tiananmen‘ is a knockout punch opus. It’s a tour de force, to say the least. The lyrics tug at the heartstrings as an ambient first half sees it explode with a twin axe attack from guitarists Anthony ‘Ant’ Hughes and Patrick ‘Pad’ Harrison. ‘Nature’s Giving It Hell’ is another tasty little curveball. First half is just piano, Ste’s croon and some neat vocal interplay until it goes all grandiose with bass bombast and doo-wop hand claps. The album ends far too soon with ‘Last Orders At The Brain‘, a chilling minute and a half of poignant balladry………………….hopefully, more gems like these songs will surface one day.


Fathom Time track listing:-

  1. Contender
  2. Balancing Act
  3. Cut Me Open
  4. Passing Torture
  5. 3 Charred Hats
  6. Karoshi
  7. Blatant Lie
  8. Shoreline
  9. Plunge
  10. Keep In Touch
  11. Dead Hearts
  12. Sorry Son
  13. Like Tiananmen
  14. Nature’s Giving It Hell
  15. Last Orders At The Brain


Cecil band line up:- 

Ste Williams – Lead vocal.

Jay Bennett – Bass guitar/backing vocals.

Ally Lambert – Drums.

Patrick ‘Pad’ Harrison – Guitar.

Anthony ‘Ant’ Hughes – Guitar/keyboards.





  • Streaming + Download
    Pre-order of FATHOM TIME. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    releases June 6, 2020

      £10 GBP  or more






To be found at the end of every rainbow for Cecil fans!

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!