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Castle

Castle

Originally conceived by guitarist, songwriter and producer Mat Davis as a solo project, a meeting of hearts and minds gave the necessary impetus to create a band to finally bring his songs to life. “I met my wife Elizabeth [Blackwell] in 2009,” he explains. “At that point I had already written and demoed most of the songs that would end up on our debut album ‘In Witch Order’. I had tried several times to start a band in San Francisco to no avail. Meeting Liz” – who would go on to become the band’s vocalist and bassist – “breathed new life into the project. We began working on vocal melodies for the songs which at that time were mainly instrumentals, and soon after I reached out to Al McCartney, an old friend and musical collaborator from Toronto to play drums on the record that had started to take shape.”

Having decided on the name Castle the band recorded their debut album ‘In Witch Order’ which was released by Germany’s Ván Records in the spring of 2011. The band had come to the label’s attention via a demo of the first three songs from the ‘In Witch Order’ recording session. “We hand-screened a cover and put it all together and sent a bunch out to labels we liked and Ván responded with a lot of enthusiasm,” recalls Mat. On its release, as both a CD and vinyl LP, ‘In Witch Order’ picked up a number of accolades including Metal Hammer Norway’s album of the year as well as Roadburn Festival’s ‘newcomer of the year’.

‘Blacklands’, the band’s second album, was recorded at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California and produced by Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Eyehategod, Sleep). “It’s an altogether different beast to ‘In Witch Order’” is how Mat describes it. “The debut took five years start-to-finish, whereas the new one was done relatively quickly, in six months. It was deliberate on our part to do it like that.  We wanted to have a live feel and an edginess to the album and I think we got that.  It sounds bigger and hits harder. And I wanted the songs to be epic. There were elements of that on our debut but I deliberately set out to achieve that with most of these songs.”

That said, ‘Blacklands’ still features classic-sounding heavy metal songs with a thrash temperament, huge character and fluid solos. It’s an album of great riffs and strong songs, the backbone of Castle’s sound. The album also boasts the classic power trio swagger. “The  power trio aspect is one of our strengths as a band,” Mat says. “I love that sound.”

Castle often refer to themselves as ‘witch thrash’ in interviews, the explanation being quite simple: “there's a definite thrash element to our music even when we’re playing at slower tempos. It’s a different sound, a little more complex maybe than your average doom or heavy metal band; and our lyrics do tend to dwell on themes of the occult. And,” Mat adds, “inspired by Tony Iommi, all but three Castle songs are in C# tuning.” And who can argue with that?

‘Blacklands’ is released by Ván Records in late April / early May 2012. Castle will be in Europe in May to promote the album with shows in Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands before returning home for gigs in the States and Canada.

 

www.heavycastle.com
www.facebook.com/heavycastle


Line Up:
Mat Davis - guitary
Al McCartney - drums
Elizabeth Blackwell - vocals, bass




 

Castle -

Castle - "Blacklands" digipack CD

Bay Area Witch Thrash

11,90 EUR

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Castle -

Castle - "in Witch Order" digipack CD

US heavy doom

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Castle -

Castle - "Pentagram" T-Shirt

T-Shirt

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Castle -

Castle - "Second Coming / Labyrinth Of Death" 7" vinyl

6,90 EUR

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Castle -

Castle - "Skull" T-Shirt WHIT

T-Shirt

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Castle -

Castle - "Under Siege" 12"LP

witch thrash

14,90 EUR

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Castle -

Castle - "Under Siege" digipack CD

witch thrash

13,90 EUR

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