When a genre (or subgenre) gets overcrowded, bands will often take drastic measures to distance themselves, sometimes even changing their sound and image completely!! Others rather add some new elements whilst keeping their core vibe/style, and thankfully Blood Ceremony falls into the latter.
From the opening ominous organ of “The Devils Widow”, it’s apparent that on their fourth effort, Blood Ceremony has no plans to abandon their retro rock/doom sound. But yet there is some subtle differences throughout, the songs are overall more melodic and range from long and melodic to downright heavy, some are hook-laden and catchy!!
Fear not BC fans, the lyrical matter is still occult/fantasy based, with Alia O’Brien really expanding her voice, changing volumes and seemingly overall more confident on this one than any if the other previous releases. The almost FM radio (yet still heavy and dark) title track is a fine example of this, as she holds the drawn out words in the chorus with a control and a swagger that shows years of experience and practice. Main songwriter and guitarist Sean Kennedy continues his riff heavy approach, yet with subdued melody and relaxation, sometimes in the same track. The looseness yet solid performance of rhythm section Lucas Gadke (Bass) and Michael Carillo (Drums) added on top of Alia’s multi-talented Organ and Flute passages make this a layered, visceral headphone worthy listen. And besides how many bands can you head bang to with a flute???
If you are not a fan of the retro/stoner/film subgenre this record will not convert you, but Blood Ceremony fans and enthusiast of this genre will not be disappointed in the least, from the opening Sabbath meets Jethro Tull riffs to the dreamy/trance like final moments of “This Present, This Past.”
Standout tracks: “Lord of Misrule”, “Half Moon Street”
- The Devils Widow
- The Rogues Lot
- Lord of Misrule
- Half Moon Street
- The Weird of Finistere
- Flower Phantoms
- Old Fires
- This Present, This Past