Dancing on the imagination like a village maiden in the throes of a pagan celebration, the new album from Canadian quartet Blood Ceremony is a bewitching and evocative adventure to get wrapped up in. It is called Lord Of Misrule; its title inspired by “a tradition that dates back to Late Antiquity, the Lord Of Misrule or “Abbot Of Unreason” was the doomed figure elected to preside over the Feast Of Fools, an annual Saturnalian bacchanalia in which masters became servants and servants masters, while drunken revelry and strange entertainments pervaded Britain and parts of mainland Europe for 30 days. At the end of the month’s festivities, the Lord Of Misrule’s throat was cut in sacrifice to Saturn.”
Its body is a collection of highly provocative and melodically fiery encounters; aural rites and mystical endeavours awash with psychedelic/ acid-folk imagination amidst doom and progressive rock scented landscapes. Exploring the secret corners and depths of rural villages and pagan practices, it is an encounter playing like a sonic Wicker Man of dark festivities from across the decades in tradition and sound.
Recorded to analogue tape with producer Liam Watson, Lord Of Misrule opens on The Devil’s Widow, a song slipping into view upon an inviting guitar spun melody. Its tantalising lure is soon joined by crisp percussion and the magnetic caress of keys, then in turn by the throbbing resonance of bass. It is a masterful beckoning leading into a feistier stroll with vocalist/flautist/organist Alia O’Brien at the helm in voice and melodic craft. The wiry tendrils of Sean Kennedy’s guitar adds fire to the proposal, its rawer touch backed by the dark tones of Lucas Gadke’s bass and the swinging beats of Michael Carrillo. Recently Kennedy called Lord Of Misrule “a very English album”, and straight away it is easy to hear what he means as particular British folk hues spice the vivacious energy and melodies sweeping through ears on the wind of the O’Brien’s flutist craft.
Loreley is next to entice and please ears; electronic pulsing early attraction alongside O’Brien’s ever potent vocal presence and style before a catchy rhythmic swing sparks a livelier saunter to the song. Perpetually, Blood Ceremony fuses sixties, seventies, and other decades of rock ‘n’ roll into their music, the first pair the seeds to the refreshing colour and blues scented shade of this track’s gentle but pungent creative drama.
A fiery air to flaming textures shape the following exploits of The Rogue’s Lot, its darker shadows equipped with sinister threat and hidden dangers as O’Brien and the melodic enterprise of guitars embrace lighter infectious essences in their captivating persuasion. Twisting and turning in energy and dramatic flavours, the track is glorious; a rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll easy to free a lively spirit and lustful appetite for, much as with the album’s title track which smoulders and tempts next. With raw blues touches colluding with the almost Horslips meets Jethro Tull like folk enchantment which shines within the track’s dark landscape and tale, ears and thoughts are quickly bound up in a theatre of sound and suggestiveness.
An earthy character is shown by Half Moon Street straight after; its air carrying a dirty tone around a less joyfully tempered nature, though hooks and melodies again have a shine to their invitation. With the flute like rays of sun skipping across the darker strains of endeavour, band and song commands full attention before The Weird Of Finistere slips in with an evocative climate of sound and voice becoming catchier and more, if gently, tenacious with every passing minute without ever breaking from its reserved sway.
The wonderful sixties pop inspired Flower Phantoms takes over and quickly steals ears and the spotlight. Carrying a Crystals meets The Ronnettes glow to its contagious pop enterprise, the song flirts and seduces with inescapable success, its warm magnetic revelry aligned to flames of raw guitar and sinew brought beats, and quite delicious.
The album closes with the blues rock fuelled Old Fires and lastly by Things Present, Things Past; two tracks which individually provide resourceful and unpredictable drama within the recognisable Blood Ceremony invention. The first is another spirit arousing incitement whilst its successor is an acoustic hug which simply serenades body and soul for an enthralling end to another highly flavoursome offering from the Toronto foursome.
There is no apparent blood shed at the end of Lord Of Misrule as the tradition dictates but for stirring creative and tenacious fun under the glare of a full moon or dusk shaded sun, the album more than fits the bill whilst increasingly thrilling.
Lord Of Misrule is released March 25th via Rise Above Records.
Upcoming Live Dates:
15 – Paris, France – Backstage by The Mill
16 – Tilburg, Netherlands – Roadburn Festival
17 – Hamburg, Germany – Rock Café St. Pauli
18 – Berlin, Germany – Privatclub
19 – Vienna, Austria – The Chelsea
20 – Munich, Germany – Backstage Club
21 – Madonna Dell’alberto, Italy – Bronson
22 – Milan, Italy – Legend
23 – Olton, Switzerland – Coq D’or
24 – Nurnberg, Germany – Hirsch
25 – Frankfurt, Germany – Nachtleben
26 – Cologne, Germany – MTC
28 – Manchester, UK – The Deaf Institute
29 – Glasgow, UK – Audio
30 – Birmingham, UK – The Rainbow
Pete RingMaster 24/03/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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