Castle

Devil – Time to Repent Review

Devil – Time to Repent Review

Ghost may have unintentionally triggered a little retro within retro trend with their well received Opus Eponymous debut. The similar acts are already starting to pop up like evil mushrooms and Norway’s Devil is one of the first. Their debut Time to Repent harkens back to all things 70’s and its melodic doom rock all day long. They wield a sound that falls somewhere between Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4 and the NWOBHM vibe of Witchfinder General with a few traces of old Pentagram mixed in. I’m sure that sounds like a heady brew to many loyal readers (not AMG though, he hates blues-based doom like I hate light beer). Time to Repent offers up eight tales of sorcery, evil women, open graves and all such good family fun. It’s stripped down, simplistic, melodic and not the kind of doom that crushes you or brings on bouts of crippling despair. Instead, its very rock-based and groovy. While some of the material is worthwhile and shows real potential, more of it is pure amateur hour, cringe-worthy garage rock and unlikely to make anyone forget about Ghost anytime soon.

Castle – In Witch Order Review

Castle – In Witch Order Review

Raucous, aggressive doom metal with female vocals? Sure, why the hell not. Joining such similar female fronted acts as Jex Thoth and Blood Ceremony, San Francisco’s power trio Castle have arrived to carve out their own slice of the retro doom pie (which is pumpkin in case you were wondering). Their debut In Witch Order is a surprisingly refreshing platter that harkins back to the glory days of Witchfinder General and Trouble with just a pinch of Cathedral tossed in like an eye of newt. That last ingredient may be the most important and unlike the others in this niche genre, Castle brings down the witch hammer hard with slashing, bruising riffs and a go-for-the-jugular approach that almost seems untoward for a doom troupe. All I can say is, it works well and makes In Witch Order another happy surprise in a year full of them.