When: Tue., July 26, 7:30 p.m. 2016
Now established in sunny but sinister LA, this powerful doom unit just released their fourth full-length, Welcome to the Graveyard (Prosthetic). Its 40 minutes of heaviness—reminiscent of the most classic of classic LPs—is an absolute triumph of unwavering commitment to their aesthetic. Putting on a Castle record is like stepping into a time machine to transport to an era that barely existed: when heavy psychedelic occult-rock bands like Black Sabbath and Pentagram were the gold standard and movies and gig posters were dominated by Englishwomen in revealing black robes. With decades of metal subgenre refinement under their belts, Castle don’t so much indulge in nostalgia as try to perfect the sound using superior tools and technology (that muddy sludginess is a choice). Their weapons are irresistible riffing, solid songwriting, and Elizabeth Blackwell’s absolute powerhouse of a voice. As earnest and commanding as Halford or Dio at their best, Blackwell’s wail is the driving force of an epic jam like “The Hammer and the Cross,” as well as hair-raising incantatory ritual pieces like “Traitors Rune” and “Flash of the Pentagram.” It’s enough to make you think all those preacher-fueled urban legends about metal-influenced black magic might well have been true.
Price: $10, $8 in advance