After no less than eight demos and a split release with Moon’s Veneris (yes, Moon’s Veneris, not Mons Veneris), and I am not even counting the four compilations (including two ‘boxsets’), Old Castles presents its first full-length album, ‘Sacrophagical Lament Of The Past’. Behind the act is no-one less than Lord Valtgryftåke, handling all instruments except for the keyboards of Lord Winterschatten. We’ve had Lord Valtgryftåke on our VM-Underground pages a few times before, which is no surprise keeping in mind his many musical endeavours. Yet, this is the first Old Castles review
Though I have not heard all of Old Castles’ previous material, it is a safe statement to make that the material on this first full-length finds its place in the bands’ discography quite naturally. Its Raw Black Metal, that is nearing the Lo-Fi regions of the genre, is peppered with Dungeon Synth-like soundscapes. Although? These haunting passages are not quite in classic Mortiis or Old Tower fashion, but comes more like horror-drenched humming and droning. At least it gives a little dynamics to the record, which otherwise sounds rather one-dimensional and repetitive. Something that is not quite exclusive to Old Castles and can stir quite a hypnotizing effect, but that doesn’t happen on this album. On the contrary, even. Though not being the worst Raw or Lo-Fi Black Metal album out there, ‘Sacrophagical Lament Of The Past’ tends to get bogged down into a quite a snooze. And then those 45 minutes take a veeery long time. Though I gladly keep encouraging him, Lord Valtgryftåke has yet to convince me with either of his musical projects.