REVIEW: Blood Ceremony “The Eldritch Dark”/ Wychwood Hobgoblin

THE RECORD: Blood Ceremony- The Eldritch Dark- Metal Blade 2013

BloodCeremony-TheEldritchDark

One of my very dear friends got me into this band over the weekend and I am so glad he did.

The female lead vocals from Alia O’Brien give a refreshing contrast to the heavier riffs, but are definitely powerful. It kind of creates the imagery of a witch singing spells, to go along with the subject matter of the songs. I keep forgetting I’m not listening to Jethro Tull record at some points, but it’s not a bad thing.

“Faunus” is about the Roman god of the forest, plains, and field. In Greek mythology, he is Pan, the flute-playing satyr of the wild. Flute-playing? Sounds like a Tull reference to me. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

“Goodbye Gemini” starts off with a beautiful, soft flute before it takes off with a very rockin’ riff, and moves into a guitar-driven chorus with lyrics about sorcery.

The title track “The Eldritch Dark” has a very prominent organ part in it, which gives the song a very grand sound to it. It also has some awesome guitar riffs as well, which add a lot of fun to the grandeur of it.

They toured in 2009 with Electric Wizard, another metal band that pays homage to HP Lovecraft and black magic. They also have a strong female in the band, in guitarist Liz Buckingham. It’s always nice to see more women in the metal world, but especially so in the darker, doomy, stoner-metal bands that I love so very much.

One thing I do have to admit- with a name like Blood Ceremony, I did expect this band to be harder. But they are nonetheless dark in their lyrics, and definitely not short on rock.

THE BREW: Wychwood Hobgoblin- Oxfordshire, UK

File:HobgoblinBeer.jpg

I wish I could find more Wychwood beers around my area because I have really enjoyed the two styles I have tried. I also think their packaging is really great as well. I especially like the fantasy-based artwork on the labels, as well as their flying witch logo.

The beer I picked for this review is Wychwood’s most-brewed beer- Hobgoblin. This beer is an ESB, one of my favorite styles that I feel like I don’t see as often as I like. It’s dark and slightly sweet on the finish, with strong tastes of caramel malt.

They call it a “strong dark ale”, but at 5.2% it’s just slightly over the cusp of being a session beer. I don’t really care about the semantics in this case, though. I simply think it is a delicious beer. I love that for a beer with somewhat low ABV, it’s also a bit heavier, and has plenty of flavor. The slogan for this beer says it all: “What’s the matter Lagerboy, afraid you might taste something?”

THE PAIRING:

Although Blood Ceremony is from Canada, they definitely channel all the best parts of Bedfordshire’s Jethro Tull. Therefore, I thought it fitting to choose a British beer to go along with it. The fantasy and mythology that is Wychwood Brewing’s claim to fame goes along great with The Eldritch Dark.

If you need any more persuasion, the first song on the record is even called “Witchwood”, albeit with a different spelling. I had to pair them!

They are currently on tour in support of Kylesa, with White Hills and Lazer/Wulf.

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