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Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark CD (album) cover

THE ELDRITCH DARK

Blood Ceremony

Heavy Prog


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Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Blood Ceremony work further to establish a unique identity for themselves on The Eldritch Dark. Whilst still showing a doom metal influence, the overt borrowing from Black Sabbath is dialled back considerably here in favour of more varied borrowings from classic-era proto-prog, early metal and heavy psych bands. You can imagine Blood Ceremony opening for Vanilla Fudge or Deep Purple, especially with Alia O'Brien's three-pronged attack on vocals, flute and organ enhancing the group's sound. Once again managing to recapture the spirit of Coven or Black Widow without succumbing to mere nostalgia-peddling, Blood Ceremony might be one of the most consistently interesting acts in the witch rock scene they've come to popularise.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1039714)
Posted Thursday, September 19, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am surprised at the relative neglect of Blood Ceremony by my fellow reviewers here at Prog Archives. I'm glad that Warthur, one of my favorite reviewers, has given Blood Ceremony the attention they deserve. They're more progressive and better qualified for a spot here at the Archives than some other bands. However, that's a discussion for the forums, not for the reviews section of Prog Archives.

Perhaps the reason is because Blood Ceremony's music isn't extremely complex. Their "Black Sabbath sung by Grace Slick with added flute" sound also hasn't changed drastically over 3 albums. There is some progress on The Eldritch Dark. It's nice to hear Sean Kennedy's very listenable voice on one of the tracks. It sounds like there is some good viola or cello playing on "Ballad of the Weird Sisters". It could be a keyboard, but it sounds a whole lot like a string instrument. In fact, "Ballad of the Weird Sisters" and "The Magician" are my favorite songs on the album. However, I enjoy everything on The Eldrich Dark; it's an excellent addition to Blood Ceremony's discography.

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Send comments to thwok (BETA) | Report this review (#1285684)
Posted Monday, September 29, 2014 | Review Permalink
Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The third album from Canadian doom/heavy rock band Blood Ceremony, The Eldritch Dark was released in 2013, two years after the excellent Living With The Ancients.

It's very easy to label any band that uses flute and has an early seventies vibe about them as having similarities to Jethro Tull but the comparison is valid here - think early seventies Aqualung era. Also most people pick up on the Black Sabbath influence but with The Eldritch Dark it's less apparent than before with less of a doom element with more emphasis on heavy rock with psych/prog leanings. In Alia o'Brien not only do they have a great singer but a versatile musician (flute and organ) and bassist Lucas Gadke and new drummer Michael Carillo handle the numerous twists, turns and dynamics with ease. Sean Kennedy is an inventive guitarist with an arsenal of great riffs at his disposal, powerful yet very tasteful and restrained when required.

Like all great albums The Eldritch Dark retains a high standard throughout with some truly captivating songs making picking highlights difficult but Ballad Of The Weird Sisters is a good benchmark to show the depth and breadth of the band with a dynamic performance as well as a killer hook. It also benefits from guest fiddle player Ben Plotnick's presence. Lord Summerisle shows their lighter acoustic side and Drawing Down The Moon shows their musical chops off well shifting through many parts. The short Tull-esque instrumental Faunus leads nicely into the eight minute closer The Magician and it doesn't disappoint finishing with a melancholic organ drenched instrumental outro. A great way to close a brilliant album.

I really love the overall sound of this album too. Whilst it packs a considerable punch it has a warmth, at least on my vinyl copy, I associate with the best sounding seventies albums. Anyone who likes the kind of heavy rock that was prevalent in the early seventies really needs to check this excellent album out. Their best yet and easily deserving of 5 stars.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#1429065)
Posted Sunday, June 21, 2015 | Review Permalink

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