Monday 1 August 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Castle - "Welcome to the Graveyard"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 15/07/2016
Label: Ván Records

This is fantastic heavy metal of the most traditional kind, forged, I can only assume, in the fires of hell

Welcome to the Graveyard’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Black Widow
2). Hammer and the Cross
3). Welcome to the Graveyard
4). Veil of Death
5). Flash of the Pentagram
6). Traitors Rune
7). Down in the Cauldron Bog
8). Natural Parallel

The Review:

Album number four for these USA retro trad/doom merchants. Truthfully, there is much more then doom going on here (much as the same could be said for Ozzy-era Sabbath). Opener “Black Widow” is a cracker- great vocal, some nice double kick flourishes and a reliably large and warm sound. “Hammer and the Cross” keeps the quality high with evil riffing and fine performances all around. The title track is a fine piece of melodrama which finds the band ploughing familiar metal furrows, but with stronger hooks than many of their contemporaries.

The intro to “Veil of Death” screams “METAL!” from the speakers and shows the band playing to their strength: they know what their sound is, they know when to break into a riff built around crashing chords and when to drop an excellent lead break leading into a verse (just check out the first minute of this one!).

“Flash of The Pentagram” is reliably badass with the dual vocals at octave intervals (I think) working really well, this is the kind of revved up rock and roll that Orange Goblin and Pentagram would be proud to have on one of their records. A slamming song, encapsulating everything good about Castle in just over three minutes. Listen to this one if you fancy getting a taste of what the band is all about. The main riff of “Traitor's Rune” is also fantastic and by this point in the record I was truly sold on what the band have created here. This is a consistent record which hangs together perfectly. More occult themes arise from “Down in the Cauldron Bog” and the spirit of true metal is summoned!

At only eight tracks, I was left wanting the album to continue on for a few more- great move by the band- which says a lot about the quality on offer here. “Natural Parallel” closes things convincingly and somewhat creepily. I really enjoyed this record a lot and will continue to listen to it, I suspect, a great deal over the coming months. This is fantastic heavy metal of the most traditional kind, forged, I can only assume, in the fires of hell. For fans of Orange Goblin, Pentagram, Demon, Angel Witch and so on.

‘Welcome to the Graveyard” is available here

Band info: facebook