I talk at length about genre identification and how I refuse to budge in the categories and group some things together that are very similar. For Blood Ceremony’s “Living With the Ancients” I have no idea what in the hell I’m going to do. The album is described as “flute tinged witch rock.” Sweet Lord, I knew I was in for a ride.
From the opening rhythm of “The Great God Pan,” I knew music as I know it might be different. The song contains a very dark and doom like feel, but possesses an excellent hard rock rooted hook. It’s a very funky song containing strong solo work that makes you feel guilty. You feel guilty because you enjoy it, but it sounds so damn evil. Much like the creepy organ playing on the equally addicting “Night of Augery;” you know you like it, but you’re a little scared to.
What I hear as witch rock is actually early 70s acid rock slammed together with modern hard rock. Throw a flute and organ on top of those and you have Blood Ceremony. Vocalist Alia O’Brien has flute solos on several songs including “Coven Tree” and “Daughter of Sun.” The flute appears on many tracks, but these two see it blend perfectly with the other more traditional instruments. The flute itself is very good at setting atmosphere. The track “Morning of the Magicians” has the above elements, plus some odd chanting that ups the creepy level. The imagery the flute creates is quite nice until the bass kicks in and you can picture the tried and true image of Satan himself dancing with his flute.
Blood Ceremony has some very obscure influences that it relies on. One of them is 70’s porn. Although you don’t hear a lot of that panel filled basement music, you can get some great personal imagery from the instrumentals “The Hermit” and “The Witches Dance.” Although they have nothing to do with porn, I find it very amusing to think of the scene they could create on the shag rug and glass coffee table.
More after the warp:
The other members of the band Sean (guitar), Lucas (bass), and Andrew (drums) have a tough job of making everything jive considering the feel the band is trying to create. It’s one thing to be scary; it’s another to be believable. They show this skill on “Oliver Hedda” and “My Demon Brother.” Both tracks have spoken words at the first that need to have exact timing with the instruments to sell the effect. They sell it!
You can find information on purchasing the new album and sample a few of the tracks at www.myspace.com/bloodceremony.
To sum up an album that normally I would ignore, I can treat it like a roller coaster. You don’t really want to go on because it looks a little too intense, but once you get to the end you are energized and ready to do it again. Sure, you might still be a little scared at what you did, but it was certainly worth it.
Blood Ceremony is certainly that roller coaster and for you history fans: If Anne Boleyn still had her head she would certainly be banging it to “Living With The Ancients.”
Show me your horns,
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