Thursday, 4 July 2013

Castellan - Feeding Tube EP


This is review I wrote up a couple of days ago for the "Animal Defence Records" zine that will be released shortly. Karl from ADR was kind enough to say that I could publish the review here as well, to help promote the band. Castellan are a hardcore band from the South of England, who released this EP in December 2012.

Tracklist:-

1. Hunger Gospel
2. Medicine
3. The Carnage I Am
4. Milk Teeth

Castellan is a hardcore band from the South of England, who released an EP - Feeding Tube via Animal Defence Records at the back end of 2012. Around the same time, they played a show alongside some awesome bands including Birds In Row, Bastions and Razoreater. Castellan inject math and progressive textures into their hardcore, to give them an abrasive sound. EP opener Hunger Gospel has elements of modern hardcore in it, while featuring clever time-changes. It's definitely heavy and mosh-worthy. Mid-way through their math influence comes to the fore with what sounds like a more thought out djent section that lasts only briefly. Their riffs are sometime angular and sometime atonal, but whatever they are, they're atmospheric. They take on a real sense of urgency with the opening bars of Medicine. The initial double bass and faster riffs bring forth a more brutal song. At time they remind me of a certain US 16-legged beast. You know who I mean! Variation wise, Castellan stick to the same formula throughout Feeding Tube. The Carnage I Am is more hardcore than math and reminds me a lot of Last Witness. There are subtle flecks of melody hidden in the mix and talking of the mix, it's well-done and clear, allowing each instrument to come across well.

Feeding Tube ends with something of an epitome, in the form of Milk Teeth. It begins with an intro that sounds like a menacing nursery rhyme, which is brooding and builds in volume until the bands hits full power around a minute in. The emotional energy on show during this song is palpable, with B. Laing's vocals seemingly hitting a new level. The thoughtful instrumentation also helps keep you interested, as Castellan split the song into parts linked together by interludes, like the piano one at three and a half minutes. The song itself is nearly nine-minutes long and while I don't think it's necessarily advisable to play this for of hardcore for so long in one song, Castellan do manage to keep things progressing. Some of the guitar is genuinely loud and has a bite to it. There are breakdowns as well, but these are more progressive ones as opposed to brutal, hardcore ones and some of the textures they weave into the song are just plain head-spinning.

All in all, it's a short EP with some interesting twists and turns. Castellan are yet to truly find their own sound but they are by no means bad. There's loads of experimentation in their music and by trying out new things, they show that they're not afraid to experiment. It'll be really interesting to hear what they produce next.

You can stream the EP on Castellan's bandcamp page below:-



The EP is also available from their bandcamp page as a Name-Your-Price download.

You can pick up a physical CD version of Feeding Tube from Animal Defence Records here - http://www.animaldefencerecords.bigcartel.com/products

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