Castle | ‘Under Seige’
Can an album intrigue, beguile and entice as well as rock your socks off?
Well I think we all know they can. It’s just that so few really do – and this one really does.
Castle are one of the most delicious little curios in ages. They’re just so different.
For starters you know they’re going to be worth a spin because they’re on the ever reliable Van records. More importantly though, their music is wholly unique.
Imagine taking the joss-stick power dirt of Danava, adding the drive of Slough Feg and a bit of old Jex Thoth form when they were still great. Now add some real powerhouse riffing, perfectly unproduced sounding, with some inventive guitar and real thickness, as well as rollicking drums.
What have we got? A big bag of killer, that’s what.
I feel like an idiot for totally missing their last two albums, and yet it’s the first I’ve heard of them.
There’s no real point breaking down the tracks on here – it’s actually a really diverse and well rounded whole, full of weird twists and turns at every stage. They’re a band always willing to take the unexpected avenue and always bring you somewhere you weren’t expecting.
Elizabeth Blackwell’s vocals are a real highlight.
There are nods to Ozzy about the place, with a few ‘Alright now’s scattered throughout. She pushes, contorts and weaves through a wide variety of tones and approaches across this album, such as on the excellent ‘Pyramid Lake’.
The whole thing is just so understated, so confident in its own odd yet amazing riffs, that you have to admire it.
It’s an oddball choice perhaps, and yet utterly vintage in approach. For all the talk you’ll hear the spirit of prog in the coming months, courtesy of tired bands with big albums, spare a thought for bands like Castle that are keeping that spirit absolutely real.
And are rocking significantly harder, let me tell you.
4.2/5 – Earl Grey ::: 26/05/14