Castle – Blacklands


 Kind of a doom meets motorhead vibe to this band. It grows on you. Listening to it through the headphones and just closing your eyes…it transports you to a pagan empire a thousand miles away, on some fog shielded meadow, where hooded figures dance and play. Excellent overall sound and performance wise they are very tight.

 Not the over the top female fronted vocals you would expect to hear. Elizabeth Blackwell is a formidable bassist as well as vocalist. Her sound sets the darkening stage for the epic songwriting web they weave. Her chops are sure to turn some heads. Dark and moody, powerful yet mysterious. She really shines on “corpse candles” , and the title track “blacklands”.

Mat Davis is hands down one inspired dude. His guitar lines interplay with Blackwell and rise around the sound of the songs almost in a form of levitation. We are witnessing and hearing a true love between them that forms itself into physical form through the vibrations of the music. He has power behind that guitar and you can hear spurts and rapid pulses of that electric shamism, but yet he controls the magic. He makes that guitar dance and sing through mystical portals of talent and desire. I’m hearing his vocals mixed throughout. Awesome. “Curse of the Priests”, stands out but leads on “storm below the Mountains”…are impressive.

Al Mcartney is a solid, solid drummer who absorbs the vibes that the two others create and melts with it. He transcends the mystical foggy interplay of guitar and bass and weaves a counter spell that approaches sonic nirvana.

“Alcatraz” is in my opinion one of the best tracks. They conjured up early Metallica here and that is a good thing. This is a fiery tune. I’m playing it louder and louder now and the neighbors have got to hear this one.
Overall, fans of doomy thrash will find a home in this castle. They are a really good band with a strong idea of whom they are and where they want to be. Personally I would like a little more vocal play between the two, but that being said this album is killer. Good stuff!

7 horns rising on a 10

Elizabeth Blackwell – vocals/bass
Mat Davis – guitar/vocals
Al McCartney – drums