Toronto-based occult rockers BLOOD CEREMONY will release their sophomore album Living with the Ancients on March 1, 2011 via Rise Above Records / Metal Blade.Living with the Ancients expands on the sound cultivated by the quartet with its critically-celebrated self-titled debut which was released in 2008 and dubbed “skull-crushing by SPIN.
BLOOD CEREMONY‘s distinct style of flute-tinged “witch rock” evolves from an infernal marriage of occult-inspired acid folk and vintage hard rock riffing. After a mind-numbing study of hundreds of witchcraft-themed films, the group began to pour their energies into crafting songs, transforming their fascination for horror into a profane musical vision. Invoking the mischievous “Pipes of Pan“, BLOOD CEREMONY‘s songs are distinguished by singer Alia O’Brien‘s invoking flute solos, accenting an instrument long-associated with a list of devilish figures. Although the tag of “Heavy Metal” may be a stretch, there is a sense of heaviness and funereal gloom in the band’s music — as well as a lyrical obsession with eldritch themes — that aligns them with much of traditional Doom metal. BLOOD CEREMONY keeps it simple and heavy; their songs are tempered with strong, brooding melodies that could readily appeal to fans of Black Sabbath and Black Mountain alike.
Living with the Ancients was recorded in Chicago with Sanford Parker (Zoroaster, Yakuza, etc.). The album displays a noticeable growth in the band’s songwriting skill and a strong musical maturity. Wider influences from obscure areas can be heard fluctuating beyond the more obvious comparisons associated their aforementioned debut.
A sneak peak at what Living with the Ancients holds in store can be heard now as the new BLOOD CEREMONY song “Oliver Haddo” has been posted online.
“We’re very excited for the release of our new record,” commented BLOOD CEREMONY guitarist Sean Kennedy. “On ‘Living with the Ancients’ we wanted a heavier and more regal sound, and I think we were able to achieve this without abandoning any of the elements of our debut.”
The track listing for Living with the Ancients is as follows:
1.) The Great God Pan
2.) Coven Tree
3.) The Hermit
4.) My Demon Brother
5.) Morning of the Magicians
6.) Oliver Haddo
7.) Night of Augury
8.) The Witch’s Dance
9.) Daughter of the Sun
BLOOD CEREMONY will take to the road for a Europe wide tour with Swedish label mates GHOST this April. The journey will include an appearance at Holland’s prestigious
Roadburn Festival where the band will perform alongside Pentagram, Godflesh, Wovenhand and more.
Since forming in the winter of 2006, BLOOD CEREMONY has regularly played the club-circuit in Toronto and Montreal, gaining a devoted fan base in each city. The band has performed at the Pop Montreal Festival and New York’s CMJ Music Marathon. In their short time as a group, BLOOD CEREMONY has made a strong effort to play “non-conventional shows”, performing before bizarre film-projections, in wooded areas and in venues more in tune with the atmosphere of “weird nocturnal rituals”. A celebration of Euro-horror, ’60s saturnalia and occult miscellanea, the group’s self-titled debut Blood Ceremony was mixed by Billy Anderson (Sleep, High on Fire) and released by Rise Above Records in 2008. Following this, the band completed a successful European tour alongside British doom legends ELECTRIC WIZARD. BLOOD CEREMONY‘s name was adopted from the 1972 Spanish-horror film, “Ceremonia Sangrienta”.
In addition to Kennedy, BLOOD CEREMONY features Alia O’Brien (vocals, flute, organ), Lucas Gadke (bass) and Andrew Haust (drums).
“Ever wonder what early Jethro Tull would sound like if fronted by a sexy witch? No? Fair enough, but Alia O’Brien and her brood of Canuck ogres’ skull-crushing blooze riffs and flute freak-outs will jurgle your nurgles just the same” – SPIN