Castle – “Deadhand Hexagram” Single (Ván Records)
One of the most foreboding occult doom bands in recent years, the duo of bassist / vocalist Elizabeth Blackwell and guitarist Mat Davis set a standard that few could meet, let alone surpass on monster albums like ‘Blacklands’ and last year’s ‘Under Siege’. With the doomster duo still touring in respect of this release almost one year after, I’d say that Castle have little reason to mope given the obvious success they’re now enjoying. I guess the release of this single was designed to satiate the blood lust of their nocturnal fans and while containing the trademark Castle sound of Blackwell’s banshee vocals and Davis’s grinding guitars, ‘Deadhand Hexagram’ is somewhat lighter with a more upbeat groove compared to their darker, more off the wall material of the past. As if in confirming the point, the reprise of ‘Be My Ghost’ now offered in only guitar and vocal form backed by Witch Mountain’s Uta Plotkin’s viola, is exactly what Castle are about: artistically stylish yet haunting and being of course, dark beyond reproach.