Kylesa & Blood Ceremony @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

June 14th, 2013

My brother doesn't get down to visit me in the city too often, but I lured him with the promise of a metal show.  After feasting on burgers at Sweetwater Tavern, which were greasy deliciousness on oversized english muffins, we got to the Music Hall just in time for Blood Ceremony's set.  

Blood Ceremony are a doom metal band from Toronto.  Long legged temptress Alia O'Brien led the Canadian foursome through a fierce set of rock that sounded like the spawn of Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull.  Decked out in black leggings, tiny black leather shorts, and a fringed jacket, she sang her lungs out on songs about witchcraft and other dark elements of life.  She also played the keys, sounding like a sorceress who infiltrated a church and possessed the organ.  Throughout the set she also added blistering flute solos, as well as some quieter breakdowns that reminded me of classic Moody Blues prog rock.  Alia was the heart of their performance, but the whole band was rock solid.  Lucas Gadke, the bassist, drew a lot of my attention with his deep bass lines and fast fingers.  Speaking with him after their set, he told me the bass he was playing had once belonged to his older brother.  It made perfect sense because from start to finish he seems fused with his instrument.  Great band.  Great performance.  My brother and I weren't blown away, but we definitely enjoyed what they did.

About five minutes into Blood Ceremony's set, my camera died.  The excitement of my brother visiting threw off my focus, so I hadn't recharged my battery.  As a result, no pics to share:(  It's disappointing because Kylesa put on one hell of a show.  Hailing from Savannah, they brought their brand of southern sludge metal to Brooklyn and did Georgia proud.  With two drummers pounding it out under screaming guitars and aggressive vocals, a massive mosh pit opened up and swirled like a stormy sea from their first song to their last.  By the end, Eric and I were drenched in sweat from bouncing and banging our heads like a pair of long hairs at an Orange County Speedway concert back in the day.  Their recorded music is uneven, in my opinion.  Not really a huge fan of their albums.  In the flesh, their sound is much more raw and pleasingly abrasive.  Away from the polish of the studio, their songs have a greater intensity and sense of urgency that makes you feel like something big is happening.  They'd be a great band to play the apocalypse.  We thoroughly enjoyed their set.  The only thing that boggled our minds was how the drummers played basically the exact same thing on their kits.  As opposed to playing off one another and bringing more density to their thunder, Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez simply mirrored one another.  Again, the finished product was really good, but Kylesa is just a few bucks shy of brilliant.  Hopefully they'll continue to evolve. 

*We missed White Hills & Lazer/Wulf, thus no write up of their performance.*