ALBUM REVIEW: Blood Ceremony – The Old Ways Remain


After a seven-year wait, psychedelic rockers Blood Ceremony are back with their new album The Old Ways Remain (Rise Above Records). This is their fifth record and it sees the Canadian quartet successfully add Folk, Pop, and Jazz elements to their already multifaceted, woozy psychedelic rock. 


The opening track ‘The Hellfire Club’, with its hints of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Foxy Lady’, kicks things off and is a wonderfully hazy mix of Blues Pills and Jethro Tull – bluesy psychedelia alongside the unmistakable sound of the flute. This is their trademark sound and they are well versed at it, with the insatiable earworm ‘Ipsissimus’ the most direct and damn catchy example of this. ‘Lolly Willows’ is another track that is pleasing on the ear, with its driving riff, sweet melodies and almost hypnotic groove. Their vintage style rock has a warmth to it, with the soft chorus and the gentle, guitar and organ fed, melodic swirl of ‘Powers of Darkness’ adding to the warming haze. 


They have not abandoned their sound, rather complemented it with more light and shade amongst the heavy grooves and doom laden riffs. ‘The Bonfires at Belloc Coombe’ is a changeable, prog rock yarn with many twists and turns and is a nice change of pace from the Black Sabbath style, crashing riffs and darker atmosphere of ‘Widdershins’ which succeeds it. The shuffling rhythm of ‘Eugenie’ comes complete with a bit of jazz, adding a welcome prog rock freak climax to an otherwise bluesy rocker. On the other end of the scale, ‘Hecate’ is a lush, easy listening, pop song that drifts by like a welcome breeze on a hot day and is all wrapped up in under three minutes. 



The wistful overtones and gentle melancholia of ‘Songs of the Morrow’ closes The Old Ways Remain – a varied and captivating album that expands upon their vintage psychedelia to great effect.


Buy the album here:


8 / 10