Wednesday, Jan. 23 — Castle, a San Francisco-based doom metal band, released its second thrash-inspired studio album, “Blacklands,” on Prosthetic Records late last year. Fronted by Elizabeth Blackwell, the trio stands tall in a genre full of female-fronted bands.
The band, which formed in 2009, will be performing cuts off the new album, complete with the occult-friendly lyrics, at Mac’s Bar on Thursday. City Pulse chatted with drummer and vocalist Mat Davis to find out more about the emerging group and what we can expect from them in the future.
Are there any bands you enjoy being compared to?
Emulation is not something I would say we do. There are definitely influences both musically and otherwise. A lot of older music like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate come to mind. I think the common denominator there is great songwriting and unique vision.
I heard you consider Castle to be a “cinematic” band. What did you mean by that?
I think any band that focuses on atmosphere and theme is cinematic in a way. When I'm writing I'm definitely going with colors in my head, tonal qualities that evoke something in me. I use them like a palette and try and craft the music and melodies around it and build it up rather than distract from it.
In what ways did Castle evolve from its first album to the second?
It's really a continuation of themes between the two. The first record I wrote on my own over the span of a few years. The new one was a lot quicker mainly because that's all I focused on for about three or four months. Of course Liz was working with me on the vocals and melodies, which made it all a little more cohesive. Also, the music is a little more epic on the new record, but underneath it all are the riffs, which is always at the forefront of our sound.
How have fans received the new album, “Blacklands”?
It's been great, from both people that were fans of the first record and also new fans that heard us for the first time with the ‘Blacklands’ album.
Do you ever get any negativity toward the band because there’s a female singer?
I have no idea because I don't let it enter into my thinking. As a musician and a writer, Liz is a complete equal and if someone wants to like or dislike Castle because we have a female singer, I don't think they get what we're doing.
w/ Borrowed Time, Mourning Wolf, Konkeror
@ Mac’s Bar
2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing
$8 advance, $10 door, 9 P.M., 18 ,