Blood Ceremony Credit: Courtesy Rise Above Records

For its second year, the first with new partners Empire Productions, the two-day Chicago Doomed and Stoned Festival has scored some big names: on Friday the headliners are Florida heavy legends Torche, warming up for the July arrival of their new album, Admission; on Saturday, they’re occult-rock primogenitors Coven, who formed in Chicago in the late 60s, and eerie flute-wielding Canadian witch rockers Blood Ceremony. Led by front woman Alia O’Brien, Blood Ceremony work their penchant for folk-magic aesthetics and their obvious Jethro Tull influence into a distinctively sparse, primitive fairyland sound. In January the group released a melancholy new single, “Lolly Willows” on Rise Above (the B side is a cover of the Who’s “Heaven and Hell”), a tight, compact song within which O’Brien fluidly transitions between tranced-out oracle and soul-hunting banshee. Make sure to come early and invest the time to savor all 15 bands, because this is also a great showcase for up-and-comers: to my ears the standouts are Louisiana’s stormy, trippy Forming the Void, twisted Vegas-based apocalyptic doom creepers Demon Lung, local thrash- and punk-influenced riffmeisters Uncouth, and Asheville’s superheavy Americana-inflected mountain-man sludgelords Bask, but there’s not a weak link in the chain.   v