Dark Castle
Spirited Migration



by Bleekill USER (21 Reviews)
June 8th, 2009 | 13 replies

Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dark Castle’s first full length will drag you into a bleak and mystic soundscape of monolithic riffs, immediately displaying the power of the two piece sludge band. After this debut, they will most definitely be a band to watch out for.

When first hearing of the band, I was a bit skeptical because of the name. Then I noticed they were a duo with a woman on vocals/guitar and became intrigued. I enjoyed the “Flight of Pegasus” EP but eventually moved on and forgot about the band. I was excited to hear the new album and can say it will be hard to forget this group again. It seems they have been refining their sound and can be a reminder not to judge a band by its name.

Their sound is so deep and menacing it just seems like there would have to be bass in the mix but Dark Castle pull it off without flaw. The tormented guttural vocals performed by Stevie and drummer Rob match the guitar tone and bring even more power to their thunderous sound. “Awake in Sleep“ draws the listener in with the droning doom of Sunn O))) before a riff turned blunt weapon is embedded in the skull. The opener is the most memorable track on the album. It captures the band’s use of balance between atmosphere and sheer ferocity.

Stevie shows her skill with the strings on “Spirited Migration”, a Latin influenced interlude that brings to mind a sonic journey through the mind of a desert creature. The creative and versatile song writing style on this album is similar to Neurosis and Old Man Gloom. While taking influence from some of the more well know bands in the genre, Spirited Migration still offers ingenuity. The mystical guitar on “Weather the Storm” captivates the mind and projects a brooding storm on the rise into the mind of the listener. The structures for each song differ quite a bit but still allow the listener to feel the whole thing is well connected. I would recommend listening to it all the way through the first few times.

“Flight Beyond “builds up power and soars through some Baroness styled guitar work. This song blends perfectly into “Grasping the Awe” which has some interesting spoken passages. The plodding pace of the appropriately named track, “Growing Slow”, provides the soundtrack to a predator lurking in the presence of his wounded prey. The drumming on the album is not overly complex and there are not fills being thrown around. The drums serve their purpose, which is to be the lumbering, pounding heart of the music. The guitar flourishes in psychedelic beauty at points while the majority of the time is dedicated to pummeling skulls. After hearing Spirited Migration, it is easy to say the group seems very promising and have set the standards high for the next album.

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user ratings (47)
other reviews of this album
Sludging with a woman's touch...

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 8th 2009


Well written. I was thinking about getting this a month back, but decided against it. I still don't think I will...pos'd

June 10th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you. I would still suggest getting this album or at least catch the band live when you have the cash.

July 20th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

Acquring this now. Good review dude.

This has awesome fuckin artwork.

Digging: Clearlight - Forever Blowing Bubbles

August 5th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks. They are really DIY, making their own merch and everything. They both are tattoo artists and shit so you can imagine why the art is sweet.

August 5th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

These guy/girl is also from Florida right? Super win.

December 8th 2009


I'm gonna' see these guys with Baroness and Torche on Thursday, they any good?

March 8th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

shit i wanted to review this. great review anyway.

October 9th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

Well, first of all, I think there is something inaccurate in the band description. The guitar player is actually the main vocalist, not the drummer.

Secondly... Thank you for this, Sputnik. Amazing band. The guitarwork is a huge wall of sound. The drums... they just shake the earth. But there is also so much more to it. Good review too.

January 14th 2012


I like the comparisons to Baroness... Love this band...

May 9th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

liked the review and indeed there are some artists mentioned which are precise to relation to Dark Castle

there is heavy influence of Neurosis,Minsk,Baroness.

they have catatonic riffs that just simply submerge into the brain

mad album


March 28th 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

"When first hearing of the band, I was a bit skeptical because of the name."

band name rules af

March 29th 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

this is sweet.

Digging: Cerebral Rot - Cessation of Life

April 11th 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

lol who made the description for this band?

"there are several obvious elements that separate them from their peers. For one, drummer Rob Shaffer is also the vocalist."

wow, that changes everything!

"Secondly, most of the guitar work is handled by a woman (Stevie Floyd), which is extremely rare in the extreme metal milieu."

her being a woman will surely make the riffs sound like none other!

"Finally, there is no bass, which is strikingly ballsy in a genre that is so intimately associated with low-frequency amplifier worship."

missing an extra layer of sound?? whoa, these guys have balls!

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