Monday, 15 September 2008
Blood Ceremony s/t LP (Rise Above Records)
Hell’s teeth this is a fun record, not an original one but a fun one nonetheless. From George Barr’s pulpy painting of “Sorceress Conjuring” to the college of goat’s heads, woodcuts and big bosomed ladies on the inner sleeve the signifiers of vintage DOOM are all present, correct and ready for glorious battle. It doesn’t stop there; the riffs are pure Sabbath and the lyrics are a relentless barrage of Lovecraft, R.E.Howard, and Clark Ashton Smith lifts steeped in stoner rock ceremony, ‘quaalude eyes’ urge you to ‘smoke black drugs with Saturn’s bong’. It’s a tribute to the strong, clean lungs of Alia O’Brien that when she roars ‘It’s a black mass and I’m ready to go’ that my response isn’t a clever smirk but a fist in the air and an emphatic “O Lord YEAH!”
So as I said Blood Ceremony love Sabbath which is fine by me as they manage to channel Iommi pretty damn well. Their love of progressive folk such as Mellow Candle and Black Widow makes itself known in the addition of whirligig flute solos and some warm fuzzy organ playing that helps temper the gravestone riffs and Blood Ceremony stand out from the blackened crowd. It’s all real clean sounding, no scuzz or murk and that goes for Alia O’Brien’s vocals as well, no wraith-like growls or screams here, she just belts ‘em out imbuing tracks like “I’m coming with you” and “Hymn to Pan” with a grandeur that they might have otherwise lacked.
If you’re looking for a record to push the boundaries of sonic violence then this LP probably isn’t going to be for you. Blood Ceremony cherish the past a little too much to be true originals but that doesn’t matter. It’s a little like the scene in the film version of Conan the Barbarian. Conan stumbles into the burial chamber of a long dead warrior king. He wrests the sword from the skeletal hands of his predecessor and sets forth to forge new myths and future glory.