Tuesday, December 13, 2011

#41: Dark Castle - Surrender To All Life Beyond Form

The Floridian duo of Stevie Floyd and Rob Shaffer have unleashed a doom metal beast of an album. Surrender To All Life Beyond Form (Profound Lore) is a richly atmospheric album I could scarcely believe was the work of just two people. Dark electronics, keyboards and piano join forces with the crunchy guitars to drag the listener down to the dungeons. It's a miserable and anguished sounding album. The male and female, harsh and clean vocals do nothing to change the mood to uplifting. In fact, Floyd's cries embody the desperation of the convicted locked in a black cell. Without a lyric sheet I can't tell much about the lyrical content but my best guess would be that it is as deep and dark as the mood everything else evokes. While I've heard Dark Castle described most as a doom band, STALBF is more than just that. Sludge and black metal rear their ugly heads and the electronics add some flavour atypical of most of the doom I listen to. Closing track "Learning To Unlearn"  could be the doomiest track on the album. It's molasses thick and sounds like it's threatening to stop altogether. But it trudges along as if it's resigned to surrender to the fate of slowly drowning in quicksand. Go ahead, surrender yourself.


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