Blood Ceremony – Lord of Misrule
Release Date: March 25, 2016
Label – Rise Above Records
There are few things more painful that waiting for one of your favorite bands. Ok, well, maybe losing a limb, getting smashed in the face with a frying pan, or having your fat aunt bear hug you during the holidays are more painful but you get what I’m saying. When I first heard Blood Ceremony, the band had just released their stellar album, The Eldritch Dark and I was so blown away by them. I was compelled to dive deeper into their catalog picking up their previous albums and connecting with them.
Going back to the beginning with their eponymous debut album, with each passing album Blood Ceremony seemed to grow, mature, and refine their sound. The fruits of all of their hard labor are presented in full glory with the band’s latest album, Lord of Misrule. Lord of Misrule is where it all seems to come together with Blood Ceremony sounding like, well, Blood Ceremony. Trust me, this is a huge compliment because in a time where all of these “Sabbath Worship” bands struggle to even grasp and attain their own identity, Blood Ceremony has managed to solidify their own identity and present it with not just their strongest material to date but some of the strongest material that I have seen this genre turn out.
Lord of Misrule is a truly remarkable listening experience and it’s the kind of album that you can’t take in with just one listen. I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s a grower. I mean that this album is so dynamically versatile that you will find yourself wanting to listen to it multiple times to try and take it all in. That is a pretty amazing thing to be able to pull off and Blood Ceremony pulls it off with ease. From the heavy, Sabbath laden rock of “The Devil’s Widow”, the 60’s inspired psych rock of “Lorelay”, the almost medieval folk rock of “Half Moon Street”, and the 60’s Motown inspired groove of “Flower Phantoms”, Lord of Misrule covers so many layers and facets of music showing the depth of the influences that fuel this band.
Lord of Misrule is a sonic journey that I found myself getting lost on as I became one with each passing song. It was a journey that I didn’t want to end and when it did, I just went back in for more. It’s a pretty rare and amazing thing when an album is so good that you can’t wait to listen to it again before it’s even over. Vocalist/organist/flautist Alia O’Brien delivers her best most connected and spiritually fueled vocals to date while the band delivers their best performances to date. All in all, Lord of Misrule is Blood Ceremony in their finest hour and has me so excited and eager to see where they will take us from here.