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Blood Ceremony’s album, ‘Living with the Ancients’, seems to have thrown up a wide variety of responses, some thinking it’s amazing, some OK, and some seem to think it just doesn’t work. Well, I definitely fall into the category of loving this album. The music here is that 60/70’s retro doom sound that quite a few bands seem to be playing at the moment, although Blood Ceremony in my opinion are one of the bands doing better than the majority of the pack, mixing in flute and organ elements along with female vocals that all blend seamlessly into their music. From the first song on the album, ‘The Great God Pan’, I was hooked on the retro vibe that was on show here. The guitars are great on all 9 tracks, showing some great 70’s riffs but also some great lead work that when entangled with the work of Alia O’Brien (Vocals, Organ, Flute) sounds unbelievable. Talking of Alia O’Brien, I must say I am more impressed with her on this album than on previous efforts as everything she does here just seems so much better than on their s/t release. In fact, I would go as far to say this release surpasses their s/t in nearly every way (and I love their s/t album)! The drum work whilst not being spectacular fits the music perfectly and the same can be said for the bass. Like I said, everything just seems to fit here. With the album clocking in at just under an hour, it isn’t short enough to feel like you have been short-changed, but also not too long that you feel like blasting something else out through the speakers. The album cover is OK, again nothing special, and I do probably prefer the cover for their s/t, but that doesn’t detract in any way from the music being played here!
If you are not into retro-sounding doom/heavy metal, then I wouldn’t bother picking this up as you will probably not like it. If you are however, then I can’t recommend this album enough as everything just seems to slot into place nicely and gives great replay value as I’m still engrossed when listening to this even after many, many spins! The flute and organ elements really add something to this album and really do make it a stand out. The cd of 2011 so far! As I said, this isn’t for everyone, but for those that dig this sound, well, you are in for a treat!