Music Review-Castle – Blacklands

Track Listing

1. Ever Hunter
2. Corpse Candles
3. Storm Below the Mountain
4. Blacklands
5. Curses of the Priests
6. Venus Pentagram
7. Alcatraz
8. Dying Breed

Castle is Elizabeth Blackwell (vocals, bass), Mat Davis (vocals, guitar) and Al McCartney (drums)

Review-Picture if a female fronted Black Sabbath in its early days, or that Danzig hired a female vocalist this is what you get with Castle. Blackwell handles the bulk of the vocal duties on this cd, but she has so many issues throughout this record, that I was hoping that someone would have helped her out. I am not saying this is a bad record, but she does not have the vocal depth to really stand out and she struggles with the notes at certain times she is trying to hit. Davis does growl here and there on this record, but I would have hoped that he would have bailed out his singer with her shortcomings. A Curse of the Priests with Davis doing some background vocals does come across as something you would expect from Cathedral. My issues with this cd while I do at times like some of what this cd offers in terms of the guitar riffs that sound like they were huge fans of the doom and gloom metal scene, that Blackwell’s vocals do not fit this sound. Where bands like Christian Mistress and Huntress really have versatile female vocalists who can carry the load and really provide similarity to what we have heard before but give us also a much needed edge to also make them stand out of the pack as well.

Alcatraz is a song that really stuck out to me because it has this catchy crunchy guitar riff that really complimented her vocals, it sounded like a harder Blondie almost. Dying Breed ends this cd with a scream and not a whimper to show that this band does have talent, that even though the shortcomings are all over this cd in bits and pieces, that the guitar riffs and the time when the vocals do feel complimented the cd really takes us on a cool heavy doom journey. As a whole, this cd has its issues with the vocals, but the band members really play their asses off on this cd and the vocals when complimented do come across as very good. I just hope they use this cd as a limitations rule to what they are capable of and need work on.

5 out of 10