Friday, June 17, 2016

Castle :"Welcome to the Graveyard"

They have a 80s metal chug to their ominous brand of hard rock. Singer Elizabeth Blackwell has some grit to her harrowing blues tinged belting. If you ever wondered what would  Royal Thunder have sounded like if they had come out in the 80s instead of this decade, you might have a rough picture. There is something rawer to what Castle is pounding out. They cross over into more of a NWOBHM style metal with a side of jamming on "Veil of Death".  So what separates them from the rest of the vest metal pack that rose to power five years ago? Well that is something I'll attempt to answer from this point on.

"Flash of the Pentagram" sounds like Motorhead jamming with Judas Priest on the verses. The chorus has an interesting melody , but it sounds like it's pasted in from another song. Their guitar solos are more blazing examples of rock gods, than trying to be too cool for school, like some of the vest metal bands who went for a fashionably retro guitar tone. "Traitor's Run" finds the chugs beginning to run out of steam. The more introspective and darker turn in a more melodic direction works well at the beginning of "Down in the Cauldron Bog". When they bust in with the solo this makes for a heavier dynamic. The song writing is not as refined for the closing "Natural Parallel" which goes back into riding the same galloping that has been clomping all over the rest of this album.Still this album is a lot of fun and was an enjoyable listen with some stellar moments. I don't think it will make it to my iPod, but these guys are not apologetic about their old school metal influence and take it on head first. I'll give it an 8, Van Records is releasing this July 15th.

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