Friday, September 26, 2008


Dark Forest Productions

I haven't had this much of a Black Metal listening smile on my face in a while. Oh sure I have given an evil grin towards many releases this year and last. And don't get me wrong I've listened to some incredible bands. But here we have something that's unique at this time within the USBM genre. There are some big name US bands and some from abroad who have decided to dumb down their sound in order to appeal to certain audiences. These being the mainstream losers, scene jumping hipsters or worse the critics who actually hate Black Metal. I am not mentioning any names but you can all guess who's into the hipster appeal these days. CEREMONIAL CASTINGS, from the state of Washington, has given us all something that'll appeal to Black Metal fans and piss off the hipster metal crowd who are looking for something accessible (aka. non-threatening).

The title pretty much explains it all. This is a concept album about the witch trials which took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Except this whole release is based upon the witches' point of view which is a cool concept indeed. There's an old saying, "Until the lions learn to write than history will always consider them the predators". That saying also applies here. So on this their sixth full length CEREMONIAL CASTINGS give the witches their due through aggressive sounding symphonic Black Metal. Now for those of you holding your ceremonial daggers let's not get crazy and start stabbing your computer screens in disgust after seeing the word "symphonic". CEREMONIAL CASTINGS are not about to drag you out of your basements and into the mainstream. Once again we'll mention no names but you can guess who we're talking about. This release has a delicate balance of atmospheric torment and vicious blasting to keep even the most jaded raccoon eyed, hooded face grinning in hellish delight.

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