The Blood Of Christ “The Lonely Flowers Of Autumn” Review

The Blood Of Christ
The Lonely Flowers Of Autumn
CDN Records
Released: August 21, 2021

Unearthed here, is a prime cornerstone of Canadian death metal – The Blood Of Christ‘s seminal The Lonely Flowers Of Autumn.

I still have the original demo tape of this release, that I bought from the band way back in 1995, when it was originally released. I purged my cassette tape collection a long time ago, down from several hundred to about two dozen, give or take. So, if I tell you that this is one of the few remaining titles that survived the cull, hopefully that would offer a shimmer of light as to how much I rate this recording. Always have.

The mid-90s were a huge period for the death metal genre. In England and Sweden, some of the styles best records were being created – albums that are still as amazing today as they were then. Groups like Dismember, Entombed, Edge Of Sanity, Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death and Carcass – and so, so many more. Absolute masterpieces of extreme music the likes of which have influenced and fueled practically every band that exists today – and Canada too had its fair share of legendary bands. Some are commonplace to the casual fan, the likes of Cryptopsy, Kataklysm, Gorguts and Neuraxis, for example; yet there was another band that should have been on par with those bands, The Blood Of Christ.

We could get into why that didn’t transpire, but that’s best saved for another article, on another day. Suffice it to say, that 1995s The Lonely Flowers Of Autumn was a demo tape that caused quite a stir, garnered the band a lot of attention and eventually landed them a recording contract with Pulverizer Records (Fleshgrind, Jungle Rot, Dying Fetus, Mortal Decay) for the release of their amazing debut record, …A Dream To Remember, which saw the light of day in 1997. The emergence of The Blood Of Christ came between two of the greatest, if not the greatest, Canadian death metal releases of all time. Kataklysm’s amazing Sorcery, and the ground-breaking None So Vile album from Cryptopsy a few months later. Three releases that shaped the way I viewed music and snared me into the world of extreme music. Those three titles were probably the recordings my fifteen-year-old self listened to the most and that is something you can take to the bank.

See Also: Fear Factory “Aggression Continuum” Review

Of all the big bands to emerge out of Canada, The Blood Of Christ were always the more diverse and experimental of the batch. High on ambiance and atmosphere, while among the first to blend different styles of extreme music together; something that is common practice today but was almost frowned upon at the time. Purists, you see. Although the Katalysm influence was monumental in these early records, they still found ways to incorporate fresh ideas into their music. Melodic passages amongst chaotic segments. Keyboards, clean and chanted vocals that in a blink of an eye, became pure grind. Perhaps one of the better stand-outs being their varied use of vocal styles, odd timings and ability to switch between genres from segment to segment so flawlessly. In that respect, The Blood Of Christ truly are forward-thinking purveyors.

The opening moments to As The Roses Wither has always been special to me. Opening with a classical guitar passage, into a black metal segment that was so avant garde for its time, into a grinding slab of death metal and alternating among those three styles for the duration. So good. It’s nuances like these that made The Blood Of Christ stand out so much at the time, and it is amusing to see how ahead of their time they truly were.

The fifth track, The Raven’s Song, follows along this path as well. Beautifully crafted and so much better than I remember it – and I loved it back then. It has fantastic blackened vocals and an eerie feeling to it. It is along a similar formula as the four tracks prior to it, as well as on Winter Tree… A Forest Of Tragedy, but from that point on – the focus is much more firmly planted in the their brutal death metal rooting. Even then, the blueprints to what was to come can be heard. Much more raw and unpolished, but solid none the less.

It has been a few years since I have heard these songs. I haven’t owned a cassette player in probably a decade – it was a medium I always hated anyway. Yet, I remember every note on this recording, especially the first four tracks that made up the The Lonely Flowers Of Autumn demo tape. Also included here, is the 1994 demo, Frozen Dreams, and their 1996 7″ La Cicatrice De Sirène. Having known these guys now for a quarter of a bloody century, I must say, it filled me with a sense of happiness to read that these recordings I grew up with, had been re-mastered by none other than Dan Swano. I can picture the goofy grin that must have been plastered across the faces of the Longo boys when that came to light.

Copies of these seminal early works of The Blood Of Christ can be bought from CDN Records and I strongly urge anybody with an interest in old school death metal to check this out.

For Fans Of: Kataklysm, Edge Of Sanity, Benediction
Track Listing:

01. Autumn’s Twilight
02. In The Distance
03. Moonshroud
04. As The Roses Wither
05. The Raven’s Song
06. Winter Tree …a Forest of Tragedy
07. Frozen Dreams
08. Divine Gift
09. Christ Crucified
10. Dawn
11. Bleed For Me

Author Rating

  • overall
  • composition
  • enjoyment
  • production
  • variety
  • memorability
Pros & Cons
  • Avant garde
  • Ahead of its time
  • Classic and seminal
  • Took so long to get a CD release
  • Jeff's ADIDAS addiction