Rise Above/Metal Blade
This is a re-issue of Blood Ceremony's self-titled album which originally came out in 2008. I remember a couple years before this came out someone had sent me a link to their Myspace page and I checked out the rough versions they had of their songs. So I was very excited by the time this album finally came out. They embrace the very early days of metal and slightly before. Think Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Pentagram, Jefferson Airplane, Dust and others. Although don't think too heavy because there is a definitely a hippie edge to their sound with flutes, organs and more chiming in frequently. As you may have guessed from the band name magic is a prime theme as in songs like "A wine of wizardry" and "Into the cover". Honestly I had not listened to this album in a while and I can appreciate it even more than I did a few years ago. Alia O'Brien's haunting vocals fit in nicely and really compliment the mood on so many songs. Like Withcraft, Blood Ceremony are not just influenced by early 70-s acts, but instead they try hard to really re-create the sound from that period. In that they certainly succeed. Like the bands they love, this is an album that isn't going to run you over but instead you need to lean back and let it soak in a gradual level and indeed it will. I was expecting to enjoy this once I spun the re-issue, but I actually enjoyed it enough to play it three times in a short period time. I found more to enjoy about it with each turn. If you missed it the first time around don't make this time.