Genre: Heavy / Progressive / Acid-Folk / Doom Rock
Label: Rise Above Records
Blood Ceremony is one of my favourite bands of this generation that has appeared in the last decade mainly trying to revive the 70’s Hard / Heavy sound filtered by the psychedelic and prog sound of this decade. Some characterize it as occult rock (due to the themes of the lyrics) others as proto-doom / metal, but that’s of little importance when you simply have to deal with good music.
After three pretty good to amazing albums (with a personal favorite being the second album ‘Living with the Ancients’), the Canadian band returns with its new effort ‘Lord of Misrule’ released via the great label Rise Apove Records. The first thing you see on this new album is that Blood Ceremony have retained to a fairly large extent the sound that characterizes them and the level of production. The flute (especially this) and the front woman’s, Alia O’Brien’s organ continues to have a leading role, the force continues to rotate with the melody depending on the composition, orchestrations remain as always well crafted with the Sabbath / Zeppelin meets Jethro Tull ideas to dominate. Where we can distinguish any differences with the band’s previous releases composition-wise, is on the riffs and the guitar solos, which are significantly less and are replaced by more melody and a more “hippie” elements, exemplified in the song ‘Flower Phantoms’.
All these somewhat new sound characteristics, depending on the tastes of each listener, are not necessarily bad. Instead they show an inclination of the band to broaden its horizons. The problem with ‘Lord of Misrule’ is that in my view the album as a whole – except for some parts and some pieces like the title- doesn’t lift your spirit… You have the feeling that the record lacks some really great compositions that will stick to your mind for a while. You don’t feel that you’re dealing with an effort that has the specifications to rocket Blood Ceremony to the top bands of the genre and keep them there for good. This does not mean in any way that the album the band has released isn’t a good one or isn’t worthy of the name have been made so far. It’s elaborate and honest towards first of all in their own selves and towards the sound they have decided to serve.
If you are already a fan, you’ll purchase the record anyway. Those of you unfamiliar with the band, give them a shot, because it is certain that at least they will find something that is well made and probably will like it more than I did.