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BLOOD CEREMONY (Living With The Ancients) LP/CD

For some people BLOOD CEREMONY is the greatest thing since sliced bread and I am quite sure that the same people won't be disappointed by the band's second record 'Living With The Ancients'. BLOOD CEREMONY stick to their concept: once again, they take the listener on a trip to a doomy world of sound, reaching from acid folk to progressive and heavy rock. The musical period between 1968 and 1971 is their main source, especially bands such as Steel Mill, Gravy Train, Coven, Bodkin and Black Sabbath left a lasting impression in their hearts. And of course there are lyrics about vintage horror movies, occultism and paganism. Thus, BLOOD CEREMONY's approach is entirely in keeping with the tradition of the darker spectrum of the hippie movement in the late 1960's. Therefore, it isn't surprising that 'Living With The Ancients' sounds almost as if it was recorded in 1969. The Hammond organ and flute also take care of that and it has to be recognized that the realization and implementation of the concept has its own charm.

However, despite all good words, I must confess that I have some reluctance in liking this album. This is explained on the one hand by the overpowering hippie vibe which ensures an atmosphere that is far too kitschy for my taste. Generally, I like flute-tinged heavy progressive rock (such as the previously mentioned Gravy Train, Steel Mill and of course Jethro Tull) but in this case it spoils my fun. As soon as the flute appears in the songs, I get the feeling as if I'm on the Christmas market in my hometown. Even some heavy riffs can't change that. Alia O'Brien does a good job, but here too, I miss some bite. The melodramatic element in her vocal style certainly does nothing to improve things, but at least it suits the music well. 'Living With The Ancients' is definitely not an atrociously worse album, but it correlates poorly with the hype surrounding BLOOD CEREMONY. Incidentally, the same applies to the debut album but that is just a comment in passing. I am quite sure that 'Living With The Ancients' will sell like hotcakes, but I still don't know what all the fuss is about.