O Blood Ceremony
Blood Ceremony is a Canadian doom metal band formed in Toronto, Ontario. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2008, followed by Living with the Ancients in 2011, both on Rise Above Records. The albums were re-issued on Metal Blade, the influential metal label responsible for launching the careers of such heavy-hitters as Metallica and Slayer. Blood Ceremony spent the latter part of 2009 touring throughout Europe with doom giants Electric Wizard. During the latter part of 2011 and the early part of 2012 they supported the “Nameless Ghouls” known as Ghost on their European and North American tours. Blood Ceremony’s style has been described as “flute-tinged witch rock” and their lyrics are filled with black magic imagery and references to classic horror films. The band is fronted by singer/flautist/organist Alia O’Brien whose flute solos are reminiscent of Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson. Alongside O’Brien, the band was created by guitarist Sean Kennedy, who is responsible for most of the songwriting. The Torontoist calls Blood Ceremony Toronto’s most original band.
Blood Ceremony’s style has been described by their label as “flute-tinged witch rock.” In a 2011 interview on Finland’s NukeTV, singer Alia O’Brien called their style “heavy rock” and claimed that their distinct sound is the result of each band member having different musical influences. She cited late 60s/early 70s progressive rock as crucial to her inspiration. O’Brien cites Jethro Tull as her “very first, favorite band,” as well as Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Osanna, Pentagram, Witchfinder General, Electric Wizard, and Pagan Altar as having a major impact. Guitarist and songwriter Sean Kennedy cited “heavier Black Sabbath," 80s doom metal, and British folk artists such as Fairport Convention as influential. Kennedy calls Blood Ceremony a “folkier Sabbath.”