Label : Van Records

Review by Si Smith

Hailing from San Francisco, stoner/doom band Castle have delivered a solid first offering on the altar of metal with “In Witch Order”. Dealing with various occult topics, the music moves from chugging stoner to gut-crunching doom, not so slow as to be melancholy but oddly uplifting in a weird way. Opener “Descent of Man” is a fine example of a doom song with a good rhythm, enough life there to begin to bang the head that doesn’t bang. The female vocals are clean but sung with enough attitude to make you sit up and listen; no ethereal soprano here. Music that grabs you by the smalls and gets in your face. Good ol’ heavy metal as it should be played, with conviction and character. “Fire in the Sky” continues with a galloping shirt-ripper of a track, male vocals joining the party and adding to the old school atmosphere. “Slaves of the Pharoah” has a great chorus lead riff and “Knife in the Temple” sounds dark and sinister, promising arcane secrets for those willing to delve into the depths of the music. “Total Betrayal” bursts out of the speakers like a thunderclap, filling the senses and satisfying hidden lusts. There seem to be no “filler” tracks here, all seem as good as the other. “Lost Queen” brings down the pace to a slow throb, reaching out to those who like it slow but heavy. “Shaman Wars” rings out like a beacon, and although the vocals are a bit rough here, it can be forgiven. “Sleeping Giant” brings us some more classic slow doom, appealing in its simplicity. Right down to the last song “Devil’s Castle” this is a reliable album, a riff-heavy offering that will leave your ears hungry for more. Kudos to vocalist Elizabeth Blackwell (also the bassist) for holding her own as a female traditional heavy/doom singer. All in all a pleasing experience.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Descent of Man
  2. Fire in the Sky
  3. Slaves of tne Pharoah
  4. Knife in the Temple
  5. Total Betrayal
  6. Spellbinder
  7. Lost Queen
  8. Shaman Wars
  9. Sleeping Giant
  10. Butcher of Los Angeles
  11. Devil’s Castle

 

Line Up

  • Elizabeth Blackwell – Vocals & Bass
  • Mat Davis – Guitar & Vocals
  • Al McCartney – Drums

 

Links

MySpace * ReverbNation * BandCamp * GPlus * Facebook * Twitter * Site

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