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Castle - Deal Thy Fate

Label: Ripple Music
Format: Download
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 7.5/10

There’s a lot to talk about, RE: Castle’s 2018 full-length, “Deal Thy Fate.” Part classic Slayer, Doom, part Stoner, but all Doom. Liz Blackwell’s voice recalls Masha Marjieh of Octopus, who also have an album out this year. Her voice is assured and crudely refined. She draws vivid audio pictures throughout each of the songs, but with a limited range of colors; she’s like a Crayola box filled with only black crayons.


The real story on “Deal Thy Fate,” though, concerns the Slayer-esque, evil, single-note riffs. Guitarist Mat Davis channels the spirit of Jeff Hanneman on a couple of the tracks, recalling the glory days of Slayer, while still remaining true to Castle’s identity. Not coincidentally, these diabolical, serpentine riffs are prominent in the best songs on the album. If we’re naming names, then: “Can’t Escape the Evil,” “Red Phantom,” and “Firewind.”
Frustratingly, there’s a glut of filler on “Deal Thy Fate,” including the title track. The most frustrating is “Wait For Dark,” which buries and severely under-utilizes a woefully short, beautifully brutal Thrash riff amidst an otherwise run-of-the-mill chord progression. Overall, the song still ends up being a minor win, but damn, it could have been a towering victory.
My humble request for Castle’s next record: more of that venom-dripping Thrash, and more of the Hanneman-style riffs. That’s what they do best on “Deal Thy Fate.”

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