On disc: Castero
Consequence Of Thoughts
(Bastage Records - 2010)
Consequence Of Thoughts is the first full-length album by Irish trio Castero. The band play groove-laden metal inspired by the southern metal of Pantera, bluesy rock of 70's legends Mountain, the classic doom of Black Sabbath and the heavy rocknroll style of Motörhead and the like.
First thing to say about this album is that the guitars sound awesome. Theres a great bite to the sound and the generally mid-paced riffing never seems boring. This is music where this rich, full-bodied guitar tone is more important than all-out, neck-breaking speed and Castero understand this and play to perfection. In addition the solos are, without exception tight, interesting and most importantly, they fit the songs perfectly.
Singer Johnny Mac has a pretty awesome timbre to his voice reminiscent of ex-Chrome Division singer Eddie Guz. He doesn't have the greatest range Ive ever heard but his voice is so gritty I can imagine the guy living on a diet of rusty nails and asphalt! Not too sure about the clean singing on songs like Wake Up and No Way Down but it is used sparingly.
Smokes Of Doom opens the album and is a clear statement of intent from a band that paid attention when they were told start as you mean to go on. The riff in this track is absolutely monstrous - vintage doom which Tony Iommi himself would have been proud to write!
Wake Up begins with a great, almost thrashy riff before slowing into a more southern rock inspired territory. This is followed by the heavily Motörhead influenced Low Down which begins with a little riff straight from Lemmys songbook.
Alive Or Dead is a crushing headbanger in which Johnny Mac's voice really shines and White Gold follows in a similar fashion.
No Way Down is a song that starts off with a very doom-laden riff incorporating Johnny Mac's clean vocals over some plodding riffs. About halfway through the lads up the tempo and this lifts the song immeasurably. This isn't one of my favorite songs on the album but that tempo change is one of my favorite moments.
Born To Die begins with some classic riffing before the band slows down proceedings with a melancholy verse and then lifting the song with another well-timed tempo change. I think a lot of modern day doom bands could do with listening to Castero to find out how to write good songs that keep you interested instead of just sounding like manic depressives!
Album finisher Rising is the longest track on the album at a little over seven minutes in length. The riffing is great, a little faster than the majority of songs on the album and the clean vocals actually work really well with this up-tempo beat. Undoubtedly my favorite track on the album – I found it almost impossible to keep still!
Each and every song on this album has something to recommend itself. The playing on all three instruments is extremely tight, the songs are catchy and very headbangable and, even if its not exactly original, I think youd be hard-pressed to not find something to like in this album. One of the highlights of 2010 so far.