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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Black Sabbath meets Jethro Tull psychedelic groove metal,
It's very derivative of Black Sabbath, there's no doubt about that. Although they don't do anything original with the basic Sabbath sound, apart from maybe adding some bucolic Jethro Tull style flute, they have lucked into a substantial amount of mysterious and inexplicable X factor. Somehow it just gels together and is more than the sum of its parts.
The lyrics are so-so but it doesn't matter. The groove, the forward propulsion is what matters with this band. She has a nice singing voice that slots in with the music in an unobtrusive way. I've been told that Ozzy technically sang like a girl, so female vocals on this type of music might work better than you may think. As I don't pay too much attention to the words, and I'm usually a lyrics first type of person, I find this album works as great ambient music.
There are no slow tracks, but there are dynamics within the songs so it's not just one paced throughout.
The 51 minute album is a bit samey sounding but the songs are strong. It might be unoriginal and locked in an early 70s time capsule, but in this case that's not a bad thing.
1. The Great God Pan 7:30 (9 out of 10 stars)
A great, very satisfying track to open the album. Perfectly formed heavy blues, prog-tinged metal music.
2. Coven Tree 4:47 (7 out of 10 stars)
Lots of flute on this track which brings to mind Jethro Tull. The song is also a bit more verbose.
3. The Hermit 2:34 (9 out of 10 stars)
The flute is the lead instrument taking the place where a screaming guitar is usually found. Very melodic instrumental.
4. My Demon Brother 4:48 (8 out of 10 stars)
More melodic than is usually expected for a metal song. The lyrics don't really go anywhere but it doesn't matter, they're there to just add some satanic atmosphere, not to tell an engaging story.
5. Morning Of The Magicians 6:58 (5 out of 10 stars)
Has a disjointed feel to it like it hasn't been fully completed. Sounds to me like a jam that isn't as good as everyone thinks it is. It's as if it hasn't been refined into something more streamlined and palatable. They failed to organise it into something melodic that has a groove. It's grooveless. It's not bad, but it's average at best. It does have a nice acoustic sounding coda which feels tacked on to extend the track for its own sake.
6. Oliver Haddo 8:12 (7 out of 10 stars)
The vocals seem a bit more pronounced but she doesn't really have anything to say. Which again I'm not bothered about. Good song but there's nothing really notable about it.
7. Night Of Augury 6:05 (7 out of 10 stars)
The churchy organ is the lead instrument. It even gets a solo that turns into a long instrumental passage for the whole band to slowly join in one at a time. The lyrics are the usual indifferent but competently decent stuff.
8. The Witches Dance 0:40 (5 out of 10 stars)
Harmless instrumental interlude. Too short to be either good or bad.
9. Daughter Of The Sun 10:10 (8 out of 10 stars)
Very effective extended track. The lyrics aren't up to much but they're among her more memorable ones. The guitar sounds very David Gilmour like at the 9 minute mark.
I like to make EP playlists out of some albums on my iPod. Tracks 1, 4 and 9 made the cut.
The album is not just for people looking for retro soundalike rock music. In my opinion the album transcends its obvious influences.
Overall 9 out of 10 for the album.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Baroque metal at its best,Blood Ceremony (also strongly recommended). Perhaps next to Ride Satan Ride, Battle of Old Crow "Ceremony" is the most serious act trying to revive of the genre - if there are such musicians, still there is hope. "Blood Ceremony" definitely is inspired by the dinosaurs of the 70s - Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Jethro Tull - without copying them, but playing their own fusion of chamber/baroque rock with hard'n heavy (obviously it is more on metal side - goth/doom). Music of great talent, very nostalgic (strings, flute and MOOG), not cheerful, brooding, full of sorrow. Far better than any tribute band.
How serious is involvement with witchcraft and occult, is difficult to say, but the inspiration also comes from the ancients - Zior, Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls, Iron Claw.
The major disappointment is singing. With all due respect and without prejudice, Alia O'Brien is an excellent composer and talented musician (her flute and organ are superb), but sorry - the lady simply cannot sing. Her voice is too flat and shallow, totally lacking power and emotions, sometimes off tune, and not match to the magnitude of music. Even lighter Vampyre Erotica sounds more convincing and impressive. "Blood Ceremony" deserves someone in the league of Tarja Turunen. Total waste, otherwise - 6 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars BLACK SABBATH MEETS JETHRO TULL!!!!!,
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This review is from: Living With The Ancients [VINYL] (Vinyl)Amazing band! One of my favourites! If you worship Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull and dig hot chicks on vocals that can play both flute and organ, well ya better prepare your ass for it is going to be KICKED!!!! :p
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