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HMS Music Spotlight

After many repeated listenings to their previous album The Eldritch Dark, I was eagerly awaiting Blood Ceremony’s follow-up release, Lord Of Misrule. This witch-rock (still the best term to describe them) 4-piece ensemble from my hometown of Toronto add an exciting retro flare to the already diverse cross section of fringe music coming out of this city.

But honestly I wasn’t sure how they would continue to evolve their intentionally antiquated gothic style whilst precariously treading the line between having mass appeal and remaining a cult (pun intended) classic. Well, I’m happy to report that Lord Of Misrule, in my humble opinion, is every bit as exciting as it’s predecessor. In fact I would even go as far as to say that it’s a little more textured, hard to believe as that may be!

Kicking it off with the sinister sound of “The Devil's Widow”, Alia proves once again that she is a demon on the flute – spiralling melodies that rival Jethro Tull. The following track “Loreley”, and later in the album “Flower Phantoms”, are what expand on Blood Ceremony’s retro sound, curving towards a late 60’s vibe in both of these very different songs. “The Rogue's Lot” brings us back to Blood Ceremony’s satisfying hallmark doom signature, while “Half Moon Street” struts a bluesier groove reminiscent of “Ballad of the Weird Sisters” from Eldritch.

“The Weird of Finistere”, an eerie ballad, seems to a newcomer of Blood Ceremony like me to be another departure from their previous material. The aforementioned “Flower Phantoms” most definitely is with it’s horror tinged 60’s pop musings. “Old Fires” once again returns to a heavy groove, a straight up rock number complete with Hammond organ that I quite enjoyed. The closing track “Things Present, Things Past” has an Irish folk vibe going on, like a sinister twist on a Clannad song. I love the Sgt. Pepper-esque mix towards the end.

Blood Ceremony
Lord Of Misrule
(Metal Blade)
Written by: Richard Leggatt
9 out of 10

I really enjoy the music of Blood Ceremony. It has become my default that anything put out by this band will be an auditory delicacy. The experimentation going on in their songwriting is always satisfying, and it’s refreshing to know that they’re not a band of self-indulgent virtuosos. You don’t pick up a Blood Ceremony album for the blazing guitar solos. The devil is in the details when it comes to their talent in the arena of composition, arrangement, sound engineering and poetry.

Lord Of Misrule compliments their previous album, The Eldritch Dark, nicely. If you take anything away from this review let it be that any serious rock aficionado’s collection would be lacking without either of those cult masterpieces in it.

Love the title too!

Richard Leggatt, HMS

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