Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Castle: Blacklands

Blacklands is the second release from Castle, a band that made a good impression with their first release In Witch Order in 2011. Among the accolades these guys received was Metal Hammer Norway's album of the year and the Roadburn Festival's "Newcomer of the Year." With this new release, the pressure is on for Castle to prove that most of this attention was really deserved. Blacklands, I think, will keep people focused on this band's strengths as songwriters, but I also suspect that many listeners will want to know what else they can do. With hope, these guys will music that stretches them even further.

All the songs on this album are good; the only problem, though, is that they tend to sound too much like the same thing over and over. I'm not saying that these guys are simply following a formula or that they are "phoning it in," as the saying goes. I think these guys play with a lot of heart and their music demonstrates a love for classic hard rock, particularly bands like late 60s Black Sabbath and others like them. I was surprised to read that these guys are typically classified as doom metal with a hint of thrash. Yes, it's doomy enough, but the overall impression of the music is that it's reaching back to the deep past rather than thinking about what's going on with doom in the present. Consider, for example, the riffs, grooves, and guitar lines of tracks like "Blacklands."

The biggest strength of this album is the chugging guitar that makes up the heart of every song. Mat Davis's guitar playing is often muddy, a sound I rather enjoy, but he sounds best when he's grooving away on power chords. When he turns to melodic lines, including solos, his sound is occasionally overcome by his heavy distortion. His vocals, which show up from time to time, are good enough, but they don't have nearly the quality of Elizabeth Blackwell's own raw, yet emotional, parts.

Castle is a band worthy of a listen, but this album, I think, only reflects some of their strengths. In the future, I'd like to see what they can do with a little more variety in the songwriting.

Track Listing:
1. Ever Hunter
2. Corpse Candles
3. Storm Below the Mountain
4. Blacklands
5. Curses of the Priests
6. Venus Pentagram
7. Alcatraz
8. Dying Breed

Added: September 12th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1784
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by