BLOOD CEREMONY open for Kylesa at Lee’s Palace on Tuesday (June 11). See lilsting. Rating: NNNN
The problem with Toronto pagan rockers Blood Ceremony's first two albums - apart from their being near-impossible to procure on LP without shelling out for pricey UK mail orders - was that they sounded cheap. The 2008 self-titled debut and 2011 follow-up, Living With The Ancients, were pale evocations of what the band was capable of conjuring onstage.
Recorded and mixed by T.O. indie scene vet Ian Blurton, The Eldritch Dark sounds like a real-deal album. It moves through moods like a vagabond questing through misty moors, setting a tone with opener Witchwood that's carried through to The Magician (which heralds the return of Living With The Ancients' fictional sorcerer Oliver Haddo).
There's a mellowing (not unwelcome) of the band's formerly more straight-ahead proto-metal/doom-revival sound, with fiddles even appearing in Ballad Of The Weird Sisters. Short of pumping dry ice through your speakers, The Eldritch Dark captures the throbbing, gloomy energy that has long made Blood Ceremony one of the city's finest live acts.
Top track: Goodbye Gemini