devil’s blood

purson, the circle and the blue door,cover

Purson walk the Circle by the Blue Door… and this, surprisingly sexily and rockingly

purson, the circle and the blue door,coverSo there’s this band, one… Purson:

this psychedelic rock/ progressive/ distinctly English/ distinctly Fey/ Ren-Faire rock-ish/

Fleetwood Mac-meets-The Devil’s Blood with better-slash-more-genuine writers/

Ann and Nancy Wilson front Black Sabbath (just look at that chick in the center of the cover image, over there at the left– you know what I’m talking about)/

Lorena McKenna fronting Blue Cheer circa 78′ to ’83/

or, the most accurate and least-though-still-quite-a-bit-reductive, analogy:

Clannad, doing a covers album of Black Sabbath tunes they heard on an unofficial bootleg cassette that they couldn’t quite hear but really loved overall-type act:

It’s a testament to how good this record, The Circle and the Blue Door, is: these guys are English theater geeks, and English on top of that* (whom you’d probably yearn to assault were they on the street)– and yet this record is well beyond great.

“The Tempest and the Tide,” “Spiderwood Farm,” and “Sapphire Ward” are among the best tracks of 2013, though the others are quite cool as well….

Riffs! (Surprisingly!) Riffs like… The Circle and the Blue Door is, in an alternate universe very similar to our own, the Sega video game score highlights to a particularly sinister Disney cartoon villain, one from a Mickey Mouse Castle of Illusion or something similarly-animated-and-questy-yet-sinister, one written by Anton LeVey with Charles Manson giving notes about commercial accessibility….

Amazon.com link

*Not Vinnie Jones/Ray Winstone/ Michael Cane’s Jack Carter English: we’re talking Alan Cumming and/or Richard E. Grant, foppish Brit, this-is-how-Americans-in-the-south-think-of-British-people, type British people.
Possession cover, hi-res

Possession, Christian Mistress

Very like The Devil’s Blood (i.e., highly capable female singer with traditional doom metal/ rock music background), but more 70s rock/metal, less 70s rock/pop. If that made any sense.

Shut up. You read this site. You knew very well what I meant.

“Over and over,” a satanic T-rex, a heavier Kansas… “Pentagram and Crucifix,” almost like a track from Danzig’s eponymous debut (and very nearly as sweet) with its alternating time (i.e., downbeat to forebeat in the verse)… “Conviction” is an (improbably) Y&T-like ripper….

“The Way Beyond” fires up a lap steel-laced acoustic intro and slows things down for a minute or two, before igniting a “Children of the Grave”-esque riff–

seriously, if you’re reading this site, you love stoner/doom riffs. This track alone would complete you sexually:

Guys: you could poke holes in a board with your dick after this one; girls, you could drown a toddler in your panties/knickers.

“Possession” has a great slinky riff not unlike (ironically) Danzig’s “Possession,”  (though it’s only reminiscent of it, at best), “Back to Gold” rocks and sways its hips like the best delta blues (Albert King, whaddya think of this?); “There is Nowhere” opens like a continuation of the end of “Symptom of the Universe” (funky, semi-tribal acoustics), “Haunted Hunted” has some freakin sweet twin lead harmonies, and closer “All Abandon” just rocks all-out, NWOBHM-ishly, then closes out this badass baby of a satanicish rock/ metal record with a dissonant, diabolus in musica of a final melody/riff.

All tracks, too, are nicely concise and brief (almost like they were radio-ready! ha! remember that?). No self-indulgent 10-minute tracks here. They can write songs and they do. It’s a nice change from most doom/ metal acts.

All in all: this is really fun doom/stoner/tradition metal. And I’m sober as a nun right now.* Imagine if you were otherwise.

*He said, despairingly.
uncle_acid_blood_lust

Uncle Acid & the Dead Beats, Blood Lust

Don’t let the hipster-ish, vaguely Zodiac Mindwarp-ish band name mislead/ dissuade you: these guys write songs, actual complete songs, worth listening to.

After closely studying Bill’s “Best of 2011″ list I got a bit hooked on this one.

“I’ll cut you down” sounds a bit like The Devil’s Blood, and “Over and Over Again” like something that would rock out the car speakers in your ’78 LTD– Kansas, or UFO even (anachronistically)… there’s a great main riff.

“Curse in the Trees” is a Satanic lysergic high, not unlike “Cornucopea” with Paul McCartney singing.

Melodically-speaking, this a bit like the White Album, actually– though what with the riffs and the Satantic content, it’s almost like The Dark Gray Album.

It’s not quite Black. It shakes its ass too hard.

“I’m Here to Kill You,” continues the Beatles association: it’s like McCartney and Lennon singing while King Crimson play their version of Sabbath covers.

And, it’s worth noting, they attain this heaviness while often in standard tuning (though they seem to be in several tunings throughout the record, generally Db)– there’s little detuning necessary here, apparently.

“13 Candles” loses the momentum somewhat, sounding like an Alabama Thunderpussy outtake as played by Dokken– like attempted southern rock or metal.

Actually, yanno what? Scratch that. The more I hear this song, the more I like it. It’s a pleasant earworm. The groove and primary riff wormed its way to my heart.

“Ritual Knife,” aside from the sinister title, sounds like Pink Floyd if they worshiped the devil, and “Withered Hand of Evil,” with its female choir, sounds like an update, and a good one, of Sabbath’s “Supertzar.”

Overall: it’s nothing new, but what it does, it does with excellence, grace, style and ease. “ExGray Steez,” if you will.

And you will.

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The Devil's Blood Cover

The Devil’s Blood, The Thousandfold Epicentre

Heart, with Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood, if you knew both Wilson sisters were Satantic and totally DTF*….

Don’t EVEN tell me that doesn’t sound AWESOME.

And I mean this as a compliment, but I cannot, for the life of me, put this on and stay awake. It’s grandiose and catchy as hell, but also relaxing: it’s so swirly and ethereal that you wanna just go away and take it all in… sift through that wonderful soft cold blackness that is sleep….

Course, when I wake up I’ve got candewax on my nipples and my sphincter is stretched…

…probably not related, though, in all honesty.

ANYway…

…much like Ghost or In Solitude, there’s a definite intentionally-retro, ’70s vibe here… every song is disturbingly (suspiciously?) memorable… one or two trips through this one and you will be humming some Real Shit, yo….

“On the Wings of Gloria” features a main riff not unlike “Immigrant Song” with Ann Wilson singing on it… [and listen to all the lyrics here; they're understated but sinister as hell]… “Cruel Lover” with its BDSM-suggesting lyrics and its very Fleetwood Mac-ness in the arpeggiated chords and buh-da-BUM buh-da-BUM buh-da-BUM-”Tusk”-isms, sounds totally like something from Fleetwood Mac’s eponymous album– something that I would’ve heard in the radio in my ’78 Ford LTD….

The Thousandfold Epicentre came out in Europe in 2011 but only comes out in the States (officially) in 2012. So, do I put it in “best of” lists for this year?

I don’t always break the chronological rules of album review– but when I do, I put The Devil’s Blood at around #10 or 9 of 2011.

If you’ve ever wanted Fleetwood Mac to sound more like something quietly sinister, something trying to get you to “cut your flesh and worship Satan,” as it were, The Thousandfold Epicentre is for you my friend.

You fucking weirdo.

Devil’s Blood, website

 

*We already know Stevie Nicks is. Hey-oh!