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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gothic Castle - Closer to Roots (1996)

Gothic Castle circa 1996

Genre: Doom Metal
Country: Russia
Year: 1996

1. Snakes Under Flowers
2. Moonlace
3. Estrangement
4. In the Heart of the Ruins

Download at Mediafire
Metal Archives


I've been unable to locate Gothic Castle's "The Odd" demo, but this is their third release and displays what appears to be an about face in their music style. I've always thought of this demo as Death/Doom in instrumentation, but Traditional Doom in vocal style. Some might say these elements clash and while I do agree with them, it still makes for a very engaging listen that should not go ignored.

This is a very different release from "In The Chared Cradle". You'll notice an increase in pacing, with a wider variety of up-beat and lively riffing, as well as much shorter song lengths. Hell, this entire four-song demo is just a minute or two longer than their first demo, which was only one song. They've opted to do this, I presume, to make the demo more accessible than the first and easier to listen to. That's not to say the first is bad; it's an excellent release in its own right.

So, what about the vocals? I'm not sure if they got a new vocalist, or if the growler decided to try his hand at melodic clean vocals (probably the former), but it definitely makes for an interesting listen. It's basically your classic trad doom vocal style, wavering in that operatic way. One thing I found curious is that the vocals seem to be sung at a much quicker rate than the music being played. This doesn't sound like it should work, but I found the songs oddly catchy and invigorating. Certainly worth your time! Look out for the last song; great riff! Recommended.

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