Blood Ceremony, The Old Ways Remain (Rise Above 2023)

Psychedelic folk rock band Blood Ceremony reveal more secrets on their fifth album, The Old Ways Remain.

Blood Ceremony is a psychedelic doom band with acid folk tinges and a unique approach to heavy music. In fact, they are pretty light on the doom and the heavy, instead emphasizing the other aspects. The prominent use of a flute is the first thing you think of, but it is not the only element. The compositions are grand in an understated way – I know that sounds like nonsense, but listen in and maybe you will see what I mean. From their first album in 2018 through to the new one, the originality of their creations is unmistakable and impressive. The band is Sean Kennedy (guitar), Alia O’Brien (vocals, flute, organ), Lucas Gadke (bass), and Michael Carrillo (drums).

The first of ten tracks is “The Hellfire Club,” which starts with a great popping lick introducing lush vocals. The returning guitar always catches your attention, sharing the spotlight with the singing. And then the flute steps in and sets this music apart from all others in the valley. The short ripping lead break toward the end is a nice touch as well. “Ipsissimus” puts the flute up front, and now we are expecting it and it is a regular and welcome part of the music. The cool seventies flow is fantastic … like floating down a river on your back watching a calm and fascinating sky. “Eugenie” stands out for the elegant way it pairs the vocal to the guitar, and the thoroughly engaging base line. Excellent.

Every song on the album has something special about it that makes it stand out. I am especially enamored with “Powers of Darkness” for its understated wickedness (and lead guitar break), and “Mossy Wood” for its mysteriousity and bardly setting. The set comes to a close on “Song of the Morrow,” the longest track and perhaps the most somber. The music on this album has great depth because of the range of instruments that are employed and, frankly, because of the talent of the musicians in writing and performing it. If you are into folk rock/metal that reaches into other realms as well, you are going to like this album. Highly recommended.

The Old Ways Remain is out on Friday, May 5th through Rise Above Records. Follow the links below to get yours.

Band photo by Mathew Manna.



Rise Above Records,

© Wayne Edwards

Blood Ceremony, The Old Ways Remain (Rise Above 2023)