At A Loss Records 2009
Sinister vibrations permeate this progressive doom death behemoth from Florida known as Dark Castle. Mammoth riffs loom like gargantuan cenotaphs on Awake In Sleep while skin scraping vocals lurch into and out of psychedelic stumbling passages. A certain post-hardcore feel is mutated into a surging and billowing web of somber instrumentation not unlike a dirtier and less delicate version of Irepress with its dreamlike feeling being treated to a beefed up bludgeoning. The short title track is a somber and dry instrumental of Spanish acoustic guitars that paint images like a desolate western village swept with dust and devoid of life. Growing Slow follows this up with lethargically circling mountainous riffs that arc into hints of sorrow though are not overly indulgent into feelings of sadness. Another instrumental, Weather the Storm has a striking similarity once again to a band such as Irepress though this resemblance is somewhat demolished by spaced out synths giving the song a transcendental feel. This track paves the way for Flight Beyond with its Voivod-esque mechanical heartbeat and trilling guitar notes that reach a freeform jazz crescendo. The album crawls to a close with A Depth Returns. Walls of layered vocals and post-rock riffs shift with emotional gears set deep in the listenerís subconscious. This song seems to drag on somewhat though as the most straight-forward of the tracks on the album. Stevieís vocals though present throughout the album are mostly sparse. Dark Castle is pushing out and defining new boundaries for an already adventurous style such as doom by filling in and fleshing out voids with post-rock and spaced-out instrumentation. Spirited Migration leaves me with a nighttime feeling stewing inside my brain as its riffs slowly twist and drift like a watery dream.