Dark Castle, in the easiest way to describe is essentially a blackened doom duo from Florida, who will sign up various musicians from their leanings of metal for guest help from Nachtmystium to USX.
Surrender to All Life Beyond Form is their second album to date, and is a huge step up from their already wonderful palette.
The album kicks off with the title track Surrender to All Life Beyond Form. Synths go in the background as Floyd wails and seemingly chants, all of a sudden aggression builds up and with a mighty bellow Floyd knocks down all objects in her path. With Colossal riffage and barbaric drumming, they make short work of blowing down the doors, within the first few minutes.
After a wall of feedback, Stare Into Absence kicks off with distorted guitar pluckings before Schaffer drops the anvil and the doom seeps through. What amazes me, as did Indian's album Guiltless is how relentless a drummer can be on their drums. You can practically feel and envision him beating the skins with the intent of a madman. The song takes ambient directions, but is always pulled back in by Floyd's hypnotic guitar and Schaffer's commandful playing.
Create An Impulse is a little break from all the madness.
The biggest track of the album track 4, Seeing Through Time, starts off with fuzzy guitar and the odd cymbal or two here and there, and builds up into a 4 minute wailing track of gloomy doom.
Blake Judd is called in to handle synths, and Stevie Floyd lays down a simple but monumental riff, carving a path for the song. The lyrics are simple but powerful, Stevie gives her best and starts howling and wailing. Rob Schaeffer who is set to drum duties, always lays down the right beats to keep this well oiled vessel shovelling and rocketing along. Every 2 or 3 songs there is an interlude song, but the interludes always give one a chance to take a deep breath and reflect on what they've been listening too. Spiritual Healing is track 6 and an interlude, and includes probably the biggest surprise of the album, hymns. And unlike MANY other doom metal bands, their songs never get boring or repetitive and most clock in just over or under the 4 minute mark. I'd like to give the Standout tracks of the album, but the whole album is a gloomy masterpiece.
Overall its definitely not an album to get if you're starting off in metal, but for those who love the extreme, Dark Castle is a perfect step into Extreme Metal's murky waters.
Dark Castle's rational rating 9/10 or if I wanna give my honest opinion 10/10
(Hopefully as I do more reviews they get longer, but hopefully you enjoy my first!)