Sunday, October 9, 2016

Priestess - Blood

Priestess is a Montreal based rock and roll band. With all the genres and sub genres of music in the world today a band like Priestess is rather refreshing insofar that they are a straight forward rock band, there are not too many of those nowadays.

In 2005 Priestess released their first album “Hello Master,” an album I am quite fond of. Outside of Norwegian black metal and other more intense metal bands there are not a lot of musings about Satan, but if you examine the overarching theme of “Hello Master” it becomes more and more clear, at least to me, that the “master” in question is probably Satan. However there is nowhere on the album an over indulgence about the lord of darkness and the album’s songs focus on such things as love, violence and death, usual rock and roll fare. The closer “Blood” for example is about a vampire.

“Blood” represents an interesting moment on “Hello Master” as the closer it is literally the final note from the band on this offering, and it is the most unique song on the album as it is structured uniquely different and represents a notable shift in style from all the songs previous. The entire albums sounds somewhat similar to Wolfmother or to a lesser degree Queens of the Stone Age, with inspirations coming from Black Sabath and ACDC, but this last song “Blood” is less clear in what modern and classic inspirations and similarities it shares with other bands. This is probably why I like it so much.

The most popular song off of “Hello Master” has to be “Lay Down” a good rock and roll song. It helps that this song was features in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and this inclusion on this popular video game is the source of the majority of Priestess’ fame, which serves as a double edged sword. By being on Guitar Hero III significantly more people discovered Priestess however few purchased “Hello Master” and even fewer familiarized themselves with the album as a whole.

In 2009 Priestess would release a second album “Prior to the Fire” an album I failed to notice upon release and have to this day never found the time to pick up a copy, only now I have learned my apathy and poverty were only part of the problem preventing me from acquiring a copy. Priestess had a hell of a time finding an international distributor for “Prior to the Fire” as the content was not considered “commercial” enough, it is strange to discover that this is still happening given the deep well of genres and sub genres enjoyed by the international community representing the consumers of the music industry. This problem was exasperated as their local Canadian distributor refused to release the album until they found an international distributor; thus barricading Priestess from any meaningful commercial release or marketing.

There is a high level of mystery how surrounding the existence of Priestess and they appear to have more or less disbanded at this time; they are calling it a hiatus, but I am not so sure I believe them. Unknown and un-discussed problems in the band prevented them from committing to a European tour and the producing of a third album. While I hope Priestess can return on day, it has been eight years and I am dubious of their musical future.

Returning to the song “Blood” there are few lyrics to dissect but we a presented with a short narrative that tells of a lady vampire seducing a mortal man with some hesitation, possibly because of love, after all we have romanticized vampires to extraordinary lengths in modern fiction. The second verse appears to have a reversal in narrative as it is now describing the human’s side of the relationship as someone urges him to slay the lady vampire via a stake through the heart, as failing to do so would only allow her to further control and dominate him, presumably leading to his death.

It is short and it is simple.

I like the lyrics, and I like the juxtaposition of the two narrative forces; one warning of the dangers of the human and the other warning of the danger of the vampire. It is charming and clever. However it is the strong base line and punching drums that really give “Blood” its kick. It is instantly identifiable as its own unique entity in music from the very first note and is unforgettably catchy.

I honestly expected Priestess to do a lot in times gone by and it is sad to see that they have fizzled out of existence, and will unlikely ever create any new material but alas we can rest comfortably knowing that at the least we got “Hello Master” and songs like “Blood.”

- King of Braves

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