Formed in California in 2005, Ceremony released the EP Ruined on Malfunction Records. This release was followed by their critically acclaimed first full-length album, Violence Violence, which included a re-recorded version of the Ruined EP. 2008 saw the release of Still Nothing Moves You, the band's first release on Bridge 9 Records, described by Keith Carman in Exclaim! magazine as "hardcore's equivalent of Hiroshima", which placed on Billboard's Top Internet and Top Heatseekers charts in August 2008. After touring all around the world with bands including Blacklisted, Converge, and AFI, they released new music, including their third full-length album Rohnert Park in 2010.
In March 2012, the band released the album Zoo on Matador Records which was a departure from the harder style even more so than the Rohnert Park album was, with the new record focusing on a more pre-hardcore punk sound in the style of Wire's Pink Flag (1977) album.
The L-Shaped Man, the second record via Matador Records was released on May 19th 2015. This uses singer Ross Farrar’s recent breakup as a platform to explore loneliness and emotional weariness, but it is by no means a purely sad album. Rather than look inward, Farrar uses his experience to write about what it means to go through something heavy and come out the other side a different person. In order to tell Farrar's story, Ceremony have almost completely stripped back the propulsive hardcore of their previous records, turning every angry outburst into simmering despair.
The sound is abetted by producer John Reis, who honed his sound in seminal bands like Rocket from the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, and Hot Snakes. Much of the gravelly aggression he experimented with in those bands is present on The L-Shaped Man.