Castle tap into the occult-rock vibe made famous by Black Sabbath | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Castle tap into the occult-rock vibe made famous by Black Sabbath 

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click to enlarge Castle

Castle

Courtesy Earsplit Public Relations

I’ve always loved these heavy riffers. What began as the duo of Mat Davis and Elizabeth Blackwell has expanded to include drummer Al McCartney, and as a trio Castle continue to possess an eerie and uncanny ability to tap into the late-60s/early-70s occult-rock vibe made famous by Black Sabbath—but also represented by Pentagram and the likes of Coven and Black Widow (whose “Come to the Sabbat” remains a goosebump-raising earworm). As far as contemporaries go, maybe only the original Witch Mountain comes close in the same way. Castle’s fourth full-length, last summer’s Welcome to the Graveyard (Van), doesn’t disappoint. The tonal potion is brewed to perfection: the big, warm, thick-riffing sound easily fluctuates from stoner lope to classic-metal gallop. And there’s loving attention devoted to Elizabeth Blackwell’s witchy vocals as she gives the eerie neo-folkish “Natural Parallel” an otherworldly elegance and nails down “Hammer and the Cross,” which sounds like something Dio-era Sabbath might have written.   v

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