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26.1.12

Blood Ceremony - 'Blood Ceremony' (metalblade) 4.5/5

Canadian occultic rockers Blood Ceremony have recently signed to Metalblade, and as so often happens with metalblade signings before any new material surfaces there is a little archive raiding, and so we have this re-issue of the bands 2009 debut album.

Now anyone getting this one expecting walls of Behemoth style satanic deathism, or Slayer-u-like devil thrash are going to be in for a big shock. While there is a strong early Black Sabbath vibe haunting this record the most noticeable influences here are more in the Jethro Tull, Black Widow dark folk rock style, with goodly dollops of Iron Butterfly influenced primordial hard rock thrown is as well.

Tracks like The Rare Lord and Into The Coven are all sweet and engaging folk metal work outs with haunting flute solos, jiggy organ passages and seductive female vocals from the hugely talented Alia O'Brien, which perfectly counterpoint the primitive doomy folk metal backing from the rest of the band. The result is an album that sounds like it was conceived and created about 1971 as the sound track for a long forgotten Italian horror movie. And any album that features a short sound clip from the classic Brit biker horror flick Psychomania 'There you go my little green friend' has gotta be alright with me.

In world of metalcore, post thrash, and ham fisted Djentisms, the fact that bands like Blood Ceremony are still out there and recording albums like this comes as a welcome change and a breath of musical fresh air and I for one await their next record with great interest.

A devilshly good album

For fans of... Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Black Widow, Skyclad, Inkubus Sukkubus....

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