Yesterday Damian gave his thoughts on this. Today it’s Bernard’s turn

Toronto’s Blood Ceremony have been around a few years now but don’t seem to have yet made the leap to major band status. This is their fourth album but will it be the one to take them to the next level? The band seems to get labelled as ‘Doom Metal’ and whilst there is a bit of early Black Sabbath in their guitar sound, their music is a bit more upbeat than the Doom label would suggest.

Despite a new approach this time round there is still plenty of the Sabbath style riffing on the new record which compliments Alia O’Brien’s vocals and her flute playing. Flute I hear you ask? I admit it’s not everyone’s cup of tea in a heavy rock environment but it has never done Jethro Tull any harm and it certainly gives Blood Ceremony their own identity.

This album was recorded with Liam Watson at the famous Toe Rag studios in London and as a result the whole record has a slightly different sound to the earlier releases, it’s fresh sounding and the material is a bit lighter in sound, always planted in the 70’s but almost 60’s in places with the layered Abba style chorus vocals. Case in question is 2nd track ‘Loreley’ which is very 60’s, in fact it’s almost psychedelic rock. Track 3 ‘Rogue’s Lot’ is great, with a riff that Angus Young might have discarded for being a bit slow! ‘Old Fires’ is the heaviest track on the album with a cracking riff and is probably more typical of Blood Ceremony’s early music. The only track that did not work for me is album closer ‘Things Present, Things Past’. By their own admission, the band looked to something different by closing this album with something more acoustic, whereas early albums had a long, heavy track at the end. I admire their willingness to not keep repeating the past but for me this track is not what I wanted to hear on a Blood Ceremony record and I found it to be a bit of dirge.

So where will album number 4 leave Blood Ceremony? I think existing fans will find much to like, I know I did. It’s also clear that the record sounds different to its predecessors, which I’m sure is down to the Producer and studio, as a result it is a little more commercial. However I still don’t think that ‘Lords Of Misrule’ will see them cross over to the main stream rock audience but I hope I’m proven wrong.

7/10