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Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark

Blood Ceremony
The Eldritch Dark
by Salvador Aguinaga II at 10 June 2013, 9:41 PM

Welcome to the third installment of HEXVESSEL’s collaborative effort. Ironically enough, this is also BLOOD CEREMONY’s third album as well. What I mean by collaborative effort is HEXVESSEL released an EP in early-May featuring guest musicians from two other bands (PURSON and BLOOD CEREMONY). All have released material this year and I took it upon myself to listen and review them all. I very much recommend all three. There’re different elements and directions and it’s amazing to see the subtleties among such as collection. They have similarities too, but wow I was seriously appalled by their efforts this year. Were it not for HEXVESSEL, I would’ve remained oblivious for the other two. Also, PURSON is a very strong candidate for my Top 10 for 2013. But the remaining two aren’t slackers in the least either. They have each put up a good and memorable album. And now a little about “The Eldritch Dark”.

This time around I believe they have a very solid line-up, each member feels valuable and shares a piece of their vision within the whole album that is “The Eldritch Dark”. This being my first BLOOD CEREMONY album, I do not know how they’ve changed or evolved, but there’s great chemistry and harmony here. There are tiny bits which are iffy, but as a collective effort I can’t help but feel purified by this experience.

Alia O'Brien definitely seems to be more assertive than the others. And that’s okay, who doesn’t love a bold woman every now and then. Her organ and flute portrayals are quite different from each other. They’re both plentiful and a handful at times. In my opinion, she’s a lot better with a flute in her hand than an organ between two. She’s just a born natural with a flute. In fact, it was her flute playing on HEXVESSEL’s EP that got me interesting in checking out BLOOD CEREMONY in the first place. I love when musicians leave behind the human aspect when recording. In other words, you can hear her grasping for breath and the position of her mouth when she blows into the flute. From note to note, you can hear the variations and even when dishing out a certain solo limited to one breathe; you never feel the ominous atmosphere of monotony. When I mentioned iffy I meant more towards her organ playing. It’s good and decent, but every now and then I feel it somehow doesn’t fit the chemistry. In creating atmosphere she’s great, but when it comes to the organ solos, I didn’t think it was the best of her abilities.

Her vocals were okay. The duet between her and Lucas Gadke, however, was simply gorgeous and perfect on “Lord Summerisle”. Overall it was such a great piece instrumentally and vocally. It had like an old western folk theme which I thought was original since I’ve never heard anything quite like it. Gadke’s bass playing on the album was very likeable. He deviated when he felt the moment was right and followed when he felt it was right. It was interchangeably blissful. Mutually, great interaction with the rest of the band mates,-subordinate and comrade alike.

If you want to hear straight-forward great riffing just listen to “Witchwood”. My god, the riffs there gave me an eargasm. Sean Kennedy is an interesting guitarist. The fact that he’s the only guitarist yet felt so much grandeur and empowerment, just shows how persuasive he can be. In totality, I didn’t hear much Psychedelic influences it was more Hard Rock pronounced. A great lot of Hard Rock is terrible, but Kennedy does it right. Doom is also miniscule, but it’s there. This is just a great Heavy Metal album. If you can get a huge kick from BLACK SABBATH, definitely check this out.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Witchwood
2. Goodbye Gemini
3. Lord Summerisle
4. Ballad of the Weird Sisters
5. Eldritch Dark
6. Drawing Down the Moon
7. Faunus
8. The Magician
Lineup:
Lucas Gadke - Bass, Vocals (on "Lord Summerisle")
Alia O'Brien - Flute, Organ, Vocals
Sean Kennedy - Guitars
Michael Carrillo - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records / Rise Above Records
     


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