Saturday, February 18, 2012

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Gives Us Blood Ceremony And Church Of Misery

Legendary heavy metal label Metal Blade Records is preparing the re-release of some of their newly signed artists. This will be the first time some of these album will be made available in the U.S.

First up, from Canada, comes horror metal band Blood Ceremony with their debut album on Metal Blade Records. The album is a re-release of their 2008 self-titled, independent album. They also released an album last year on Rise Above Records called “Living With The Ancients.”

The new Metal Blade Record release begins with an eerie keyboard, which leads you into the band’s dark, heavy sound of “Master of Confusion.” The organ solo gives the song a bit of a retro, 70’s hard rock feeling along with lyrics about the occult. Lead singer/flutist/organist Alia O’Brien lets her talents fly on “I’m Coming With You,” which sounds like a cross between Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull. The instrumental “A Wine of Wizardry” gives a glimpse of medieval times which gets carried into “The Rare Lord,” along with the band’s signature heavy guitars and drums. The songs “Hop Toad” and “Children of the Future” carry a mystical feeling about them before the album closes with the 8-minute epic “Hymn to Pan.”

The band just finished a month-long tour in the Northeast supporting the band Ghost. Look for more dates to be announced soon. For more information, please visit

More releases from Metal Blade Records comes from the trio of Tatsu Mikami (bass), Junji Narita (drums) and Hideki Fukasawa (vocals, synthesizer). The band came together over 15 years ago over their love of heavy metal music forming the band, Church of Misery. They recently signed with Metal Blade Records to re-release two of their 2011 albums, “Master of Brutality” and “The Second Coming.” Both albums have been digitally remastered and include bonus tracks and will be available for the first time in the U.S. on February 28.

The album, “The Second Coming” is a hard hitting metal album that is surrounded by the theme of serial killers like Ted Bundy and Dean Corll. The drumming and guitar work of “Soul Discharge” and on the Cactus cover “One Way…or Another” is some of the best in metal today. The one bonus song on this album is a 13-minute cover version of May Blitz’s “For Mad Men Only.”

The album “Master of Brutality” begins with “Killifornia” which has a voice-over of Ed Kemper along a soundscape of what sounds like backwards music before the band dives into their heavy, doom metal sound. The band comes into their own with “Megalomania” and the Blue Oyster Cult cover “Cities On Flame.” The band is obsessed with serial killers as each song on their albums tends to revolve around a certain former serial killer like the title song which is aimed at John Wayne Gacy. The bonus songs begin with the 8-minute “Boston Strangler” and finishes with a 17-minute live version of “Lucifer Rising,” which gives you a small glimpse of Church of Misery’s live show.

Speaking of live shows, Church of Misery will begin their European tour in March, performing select shows with Orange Goblin. They will be hitting the U.S. shores on May 27 for Deathfest 2012. Check out the band’s website ( for more information.

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