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Blood Ceremony: Blood Ceremony

Metal Blade Records have jumped all over the Canadian retro doom, prog & witch coven act Blood Ceremony, and rightfully so. These folks are pretty damn special, which you can perfectly hear on this 2008 debut, now being reissued by Metal Blade. Taking influences from Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane, and Black Widow, the band throw crushing doom riffs at the listener, along with hypnotic female vocals, flute, and organ for a heavy yet chilling ride.

Though Blood Ceremony are coming from a similar place as Dutch band The Devil's Blood, they are less psychedelic, relying more on doom, prog, and folk to hammer their point across. Alia O'Brien is at the center of it all, she with her angelic voice, gorgeous flute playing and tasty organ textures. Her vocals soar above the massive doom crunch from guitarist Sean Kennedy and the pounding rhythms of bassist Chris Landon and drummer Andrew Haust. Tracks like "Master of Confusion", "Into the Coven", and "Rare Lord" really are like a mix of early Sabbath with Jethro Tull, as if Ian Anderson and Tony Iommi were jamming along in the band. "A Wine of Wizardry" is a lovely little flute based instrumental, and the tasty 60's organ lines of "I'm Coming With You" add that little Iron Butterfly/Black Widow touch. So many of the riffs here are deliciously 1972, so classic Black Sabbathy, that it's hard not to get swept away by the wonderful retro-ness of it all. "Return to Forever" is like a prime lost track from Master of Reality, a little step brother to "Sweet Leaf" if you will, and the flute solos drifting over the crushing power chords will send chills up and down your spine, and the lengthy "Hymn to Pan" is quite simply epic and massive in every way.

Yeah, I'm loving this, and there's no doubt that I'll be seeking out their 2011 release Living With the Ancients shortly as well. Blood Ceremony might not be doing anything completely new here, but damn if their style of classic doom and heavy prog isn't totally engaging and enjoyable. Recommended!


Track Listing
1. Master of Confusion 6:52
2. I'm Coming With You 4:45
3. Into the Coven 4:22
4. A Wine of Wizardry 1:41
5. Rare Lord 6:21
6. Return to Forever 6:25
7. Hop Toad 5:29
8. Children of the Future 4:10
9. Hymn to Pan 7:53

Added: January 21st 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 655
Language: english

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