BLOOD CEREMONY — Lord Of Misrule (review)

BLOOD CEREMONY — Lord Of Misrule album cover Album · 2016 · Heavy Psych Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Canada's Blood Ceremony are seemingly going to become one of those bands that never seems to disappoint. I've felt that over the course of their first three albums that the doom metal/heavy psych act have just been getting better and better. In fact I think I would go as far as to include The Eldritch Dark (2013) as one of my favourite albums of all time. With fourth outing Lord of Misrule (2016) they are clearly still riding on that same high, producing another excellent album that in time may even unseat The Eldritch Dark as my favourite by them.

While earlier works had more of an old school doom metal sound akin to early Black Sabbath's slowest work, The Eldritch Dark saw Blood Ceremony shifting to a much more dominant heavy psych sound and that's where Lord of Misrule picks up once more, though I do actually think that this album is a little heavier in places than its predecessor, such as in the opener The Devil's Widow which I think is the closest the band come to resembling their traditional doom metal side, especially during the chorus. Alia O'Brien's vocals also have more of an edge here (though still melodic, of course) compared to the album as a whole, which largely comes across as a lively and jovial kind of album, very far removed from the typical atmosphere of doom metal. Balladry like The Weird of Finistere aside it's still a pretty hard rocking album throughout, with O'Brien's voice and flute being as charming as ever. She seems to just get better with each release Blood Ceremony puts out and is just so fitting for the whole retro psych sound the band has going for them, especially in tracks like the utterly addictive The Rogue's Lot or the short but sweet Flower Phantoms.

One thing that I was wondering about was whether the band would have bassist Lucas Gadke provide some lead vocals again. He took the lead on the song Lord Summerisle from The Eldritch Dark and I thought that worked really well. He doesn't sing on Lord of Misrule though. I want to make it clear that I think Alia O'Brien is an absolute star but I'm actually slightly disappointed that Gadke didn't sing again. I'd have liked to hear how his voice, which is also very good, could have been used some more in the band's sound, especially what kind of interplay he and O'Brien would have had. There's potential there for some sound expansion, not that I especially think they need it but it's always interesting in my book to hear the artists you like try new things and the little snifter that was Lord Summerisle has had me wondering about this since The Eldritch Dark came out. Oh well, guess I'll keep wondering while I listen to Lord of Misrule, which is Blood Ceremony delivering more classic Blood Ceremony. That's something I really can't find fault with.

Much like The Eldritch Dark before it Lord of Misrule is an easy album to rack up the spins on, including playing it multiple times in the same day without it losing any appeal. To my ears they are one of the best rock bands on the planet and they fully deserve all the praise I can give them. With Lord of Misrule they have firmly established themselves as one of my favourite bands. Now to quote a line from the title track go 'eat, make merry and get pissed' (with this as the soundtrack).
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more than 2 years ago
I don't care that they are less doom than they used to be. I think they are a better rock band than a metal band. Great review.


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