Dark Castle – Flight Of Pegasus

I have to begin by saying that the packaging for this album is insane. It’s hand-made out of cardboard and duct tape, with pockets made for the CD/lyric sheet and for a miniposter. It’s ridiculously elaborate, and I can only imagine what sort of incredible pain in the ass it must have been to make one, let alone multiple. It’s one of the most unique designs I’ve seen, and I’m happy to have the album for that reason alone. It’s just a bonus that the music is quite cool as well.

Dark Castle plays a style of droning sludge metal that’s a bit darker and more violent than the general post-metal style that we’re all so intimately familiar with. The style isn’t completely different from early sludge masters like Grief, though the music is much less still and trudging than those artists. The best comparison I could make is to Californian drone rockers Chingalera, so you should expect rather active, kinetic drumming under walls of thick, dark, sludgy riffs of harmonizing bass and guitar, but Dark Castle doesn’t have quite the same psychedelic, proggy edge as that band, and omits the generally cleaner vocals of them for a gut-wrenching shout from Stevie Floyd (the ex-guitarist of Jacksonville brutal death squad Cystic Dysentery, surprisingly enough). It has perhaps a bit more of a stoner leaning than that band as well, though it’s obviously not an overwhelming part of the music.

Generally, the sound of Dark Castle is something familiar, though it’s hard to put your finger on exactly where you’ve heard this sort of thing before. Where it’s not extremely original, it is pretty enjoyable overall; the massive, black riffs are crushing most of the time, the vocals are very brutal, and the songs overall never get boring, even though this sort of music doesn’t exactly thrive on variation. I think it loses cohesion as an album somewhat; it feels more like a collection of songs than an album itself, even though all the tracks adhere to the same general style. In the end, though, I like listening to it a lot, although the details of the compositions tend to slip my mind rather quickly.

So, in short, all the fans of sludge out there will probably want to give this one a go without a second thought. It’s exactly the sort of thing that most sludge freaks are searching for, and it’s a pretty great representation of the genre overall. Plus, the packaging is insane.


~ by noktorn on October 3, 2007.

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