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Castle - Under Siege

Castle
Under Siege
by Jeff Legg at 28 May 2014, 11:41 AM

When deciding what you like in music and what you want to put in your ears, you have choices to make. You can follow the “in-crowds” and listen to whatever is on the top of the charts, or you can put on something that just feels right. You’ll know if it’s right when you hear it. And if you’re a fan of dark, guitar driven doom, so meaningful that you’ll have to sit down and decipher the lyrics, “Under Siege” by the doom duo CASTLE, is one of those releases that will feel right.

Formed in 2009 CASTLE is a band that put their beliefs on display, compromises nothing, and writes their music accordingly. The band consists of singer and bassist Elizabeth Blackwell and Mat Davies on guitar. In 2011 they released their debut album “In Witch Order” and they were on their way, earning Album of the Year honors from Metal Hammer Norway, along with the Roadburn Festival’s Newcomer of the Year.  The following year they released the critically acclaimed second album “Blacklands”, a more polished and mature stoner-rock release, putting the “sophomore-jinx” myth to rest and announcing to the doom genre that they could compete with anyone.

Now, in 2014, CASTLE have delivered what many in the industry consider an instant classic. “Under Siege” ranks as one of my Top 10 albums of the year so far and picks up right where “Blacklands” left off. It’s really solid from start to finish and gets stronger as it goes deeper into the tracks. CASTLE’S sound is best described as a mixture of Witch Mountain and Mastodon. “Liz” has a really nice haunting voice with an upper register that sometimes reminds me of Claudio Sanchez from COHEED AND CAMBRIA and, with her distinctive soaring vocals, could easily put you in a trance. Mat should easily be considered a top-tier guitarist, not only in the doom-metal genre but in any genre in general. This guy is a really special talent and should be hailed as a guitar god in the years to come. On “Under Siege” he shines masterfully and to me, is the ingredient that sets this album apart from most of the other doom releases I’ve heard this year. If you’re a fan of CASTLE and have their first two releases, then “Under Siege” is a must buy and if you just like doom metal in general, you’ll love this album.

CASTLE is a really hard working band that seems to be everywhere on tour, playing shows with bands such as CONAN, THE SWORD, WITCH MOUNTAIN, and INTRONAUT. This year CASTLE will embark on a U.S. headlining tour to coincide with the release of “Under Siege”. Check their website, www.heavycastle.com, for all of the upcoming dates.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Distant Attach
2. Be My Ghost
3. A Killing Place
4. Pyramid Lake
5. Powersigns
6. Labyrinth of Death
7. Temple of the Lost
8. Evil Ways
Lineup:
Elizabeth Blackwell – Vocals, Bass
Mat Davis – Guitar
Record Label: Prosthetic Records
     


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