Blood Ceremony- The Old Ways Remain


It was back in January 2019 when Blood Ceremony played in Athens, a great gig at Fuzz Club where they covered equally their first four studio albums. At that time it was already three years ahead of their latest album and we were lucky to hear a new song for the first time, “Lolly Willows”, a song from their upcoming studio album. Of course as we all know the covid pandemic changed everything on the planet and we had to wait four more years until they release a new album.

But here they are, “The Old Ways Remain” is out there, their fifth full length studio album by the Canadian occult rockers that worth to put next to their old stuff and the kick of the album with “The Hellfire Club” leaves no room for any doubt. Steady rhythm section, some nice guitar riffing by Sean Kennedy and a warm production by Paul Kehayas that seems much more clear that the weird final result we got with “Lord Of Misrule” album in 2016. The second track is “Ipsissimus” and makes even more intense the hard rock approach of the band but then comes “Eugenie”, a track that seems to popped up from a great 70s retro machine with its warm bass and the flute at the background giving the signal to start a slow dancing as the song takes you by the hand for six minutes. “Lolly Willows” speeds up the tempo while “Powers of Darkness” is the perfect closure for Side A on the vinyl.

At this point it is obvious that the album is gonna be a favorite for me but then Side B kicks off with “The Bonfires at Belloc Coombe” and, oh god, this by far the best track, a great brilliantly crafted complete composition where Alia O’Brien gives a beautiful performance playing nicely with the alternate tempo changes. After that the rest of the tracks are just keeping the momentum while one of the compositions, “Mossy Wood”,  is written by Amy Bowles following the band’s formula.

As a conclusion I would say this is a robust acid folk rock album with eclectic sound and some great extra instruments (Laura Bates on violin, Joseph Shabason on saxophone, some extra synths by Alia) that give that extra points as Alia’s flute is still amazing but not enough to surprise us anymore. The band keeps walking on the 70s retro hard rock that leaves enough space for some melodic pop tunes to get in and making the final result even more intimate for the listener no matter that the lyrics are about ancient cryptic ceremonies in the mist…