In a genre dominated by down tuned bass dirges as well as being subject to a predominantly male gender, Dark Castle found a reputation in the doom metal scene last year with their self released demo due to three key factors. Firstly the music of Dark Castle is mostly written by female vocalist, Stevie Floyd, Secondly the group does not have a bass guitar in its mix and thirdly Dark Castle create something altogether refreshing and brilliant when it comes to music.
It isn’t just the uniqueness of being which makes Dark Castle special as they’re debut LP ‘Spirited Migration’ proves with the opening track ‘Awake in Sleep’ that begins with sinister reverb before getting stuck in to thick and viscous doom sludge excess.
Not to be outdone, ‘Into the Past’ shimmers with technical prowess and brazen doom metal sentiments to boot, Floyd’s voice as attractive and mesmerising as a siren’s despite its harsh and rasping wail while the eponymous track of the album gives a moment or two for some serious acoustic guitar porn, haunting and moreish despite its short running time.
‘Growing Slow’ however soon has you forgetting the delicate musings of the previous compositions with a blast of pounding drums and low resonance guitar ferocity, sure to excite any fan of the doom/ sludge scene.
Despite being new on the scene and despite only being a two piece, Dark Castle have managed to hit the ground running with a phenomenal debut album that is both rewarding on a base level as well as providing a refreshing understanding of musical movements, making space in the offensive of heavy doom riffs for quieter more atmospheric moments (‘Weather the Storm’ a damn good example).
Never has a bass guitar been as unneeded before in the genre of doom as with ‘Spirited Migration’, an album that, as with Nadja’s ‘Bliss Torn From Emptiness’, has put another male/ female doom duo high on my personal pecking order. Now excuse me while I fantasise them making an LP together…