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Review: Castle - Welcome to the Graveyard
Welcome to the Graveyard

Label: Van Records
Year released: 2016
Duration: 34:56
Tracks: 8
Genre: Doom Metal


Review online: August 12, 2016
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.58/5 (71.67%) (12 Votes)

I missed out on the first few Castle releases and thought, when Welcome to the Graveyard showed up in my review queue, that it was time I rectified the situation even though opinions on the second album were divided.

Doom is the genre Castle is most often affiliated with and I can hear that in the heavy riffs and bass lines underpinning the vocals that ride along with the melody of the song, much like Ozzy's work in Black Sabbath. The tempos are on the speedy side, a departure from "traditional" Doom, but still retain sufficient weight while the guitars aren't drowning in reverb or distortion which is welcome. Most of the songwriting is decent but the songs sound a lot like each other. It isn't until "Down in the Cauldron Bog" that Castle flashes some brilliance. Starting with mournful vocals supported by a simple electric guitar line that then shifts to a powerful riff and soaring lead, this track builds some real atmosphere culminating with a truly catchy chorus. It is the highlight of the album and I had visions of Pagan Altar dancing in my head.

Overall, Welcome to the Graveyard makes me think of what Jess and the Ancient Ones would sound like if they stopped mucking around with occult Rock and committed to Metal. It is solid with at least one gem, so check it out if Doom is your thing, especially if the Sabbath/Candlemass formula is getting stale.

More about Castle...
Review: Blacklands (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Blacklands (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: In Witch Order (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: In Witch Order (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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