Monday 4 April 2016

Review: Blood Ceremony – 'Lord Of Misrule'

'Lord Of Misrule'

Toronto's Blood Ceremony have been one of the shining lights in the revival of the occult rock movement for a number of years and the band's fourth album 'Lord Of Misrule' shows that they are definitely not going away any time soon. Blending hard fuzzy guitars, vintage organ,flute and distinctive female vocals the band have honed their sound into a powerful and unique one that sets them apart from a growing number of imitators.

The new album continues the dark path the band have been on since day one. The continued evolution of the folk rock and progressive rock elements is evident in a number of tracks, yet they remain steadfastly true to the power of the riff and the allure of the bass groove. Songs such as 'The Devil's Widow', 'The Rogue's Lot', 'The Weird Of Finistere', and 'Things Present, Things Past' effortlessly blend folk and prog elements into their core formula and the result is perhaps some of their strongest work to date. While songs such as 'Lord Of Misrule', 'Flower Phantoms', and 'Old Fires' go straight for a more concise psychedelic-tinged rock approach.

The album is reminiscent of classic acts such as Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, and The Shocking Blue and continues the thematic exploration of folk-horror-lore for which this kind of music is just perfect for. The production sounds warm and analogue giving it a recognisably retro edge, but in terms of the quality and the mixing it can hold its own with any modern release.

'Lord Of Misrule' is a fantastic album, and a highpoint of Blood Ceremony's career so far. The balance of folk, prog and doom elements makes this an accessible but nonetheless stunning album that is sure to put many of their imitators in their place. It is an absolute joy to listen to from start to finish.

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