Into The Realm doom metal Castle Rat Have you ever stared at one of Frank Frazetta’s paintings and thought, “I wonder how this would translate to a 70s doom metal song?” The answer to that is probably not but if you’re one of the few who had that question then seek your answers no more as Castle Rat is here to burst through that curiosity lock and open your mind to a nine-track spree of medieval-fantasy galore on their debut album “Into the Realm”. And, yeah, sure, you might be thinking, “But Steve, isn’t this an industrial music site?” For the most part that’s true. But every once in a while I find something a bit outside the usual scene that I find so fascinating that I just have to write about it. This is that something, and I don’t feel like starting an entirely different blog to cater to another music genre. That would be way too much work. So, into the myth and lore of Castle Rat. This mythical band is led by the Rat Queen, joined by her merry band of cohorts The Count, The Plague Doctor, and The Druid and the stage actress Maddy Wrigh. Their arch nemesis is none other than death herself, The Rat Reaperess. Their mission is a simple one: expand the realm and destroy those who wish to destroy it. Quite honestly I think all four of these lads should be running a Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder tabletop session as a podcast playing their characters with a charming GM to guide them along the journey, but that’s just me. Maybe just release a stat-block for their fans and call it a day; it would suit them greatly. Into The Realm by Castle RatOnto the music. Castle Rat utilizes a range of hard rock and doom metal to come up with their well-orchestrated craft with a  couple of intermission tracks between. The album starts with the absolute screamer ‘Dagger Dragger’, which is one hell of an introductory jam session. Something raw and interpersonal met with a howling hellcat, groovy bass guitar, crunchier guitar riffs, and cymbals that slam at just the right moment. ‘Feed the Dream’ incorporates a bit more of the doom into their repertoire as guitars take on longer notes and The Rat Queen acts as a siren holding her notes and proving that she does, indeed, have an incredible voice. ‘Resurrector’ comes in at just the right time; nothing but a plucking bass guitar for a few seconds over a minute, but still in the arena of what Castle Rat does. Right after this we jump into ‘Red Sands’ which keeps up the calm for the first minute or so before ambient winds lead us into a thumping rhythm which breaks open at the one-minute and forty-some second mark. Expertly placed pauses ramp up the tension throughout the track and adds a layer of atmosphere. ‘The Mirror’ is another short, atmospheric track featuring sharper twangs that gives off a bit of a hypnosis like state. The first two minutes of ‘Cry For Me’ is absolutely lovely; almost bluesy in a sense, but heartfelt and serene. But don’t get too comfortable with that as around the two-and-a-half minute mark does Castle Rat open up their doors to let the hard rock manifest within. The song ends out by going soft in the last section and filters downward. A final short intermission hits with ‘Realm’ before we enter the last two tracks on the album. ‘Fresh Fur’ is arguably one of their biggest hits and its no wonder why; a fantastically attitude laced fantasty-metal track with heightened vocals reverberating through empty caverns and a frenetic hard rock pace. The final track on the album ‘Nightblood’ features some of the best guitar work on the album and ends on a wonderful doom metal note.Castle Rat has impressed me to hell and back on this album and I’ve come back to listen to it over and over again – especially to help fuel my workouts. And there’s a ton of other people who are crawling to this band. Tons of sold-out merch are a testament to that fact. So, yeah, join the realm. Castle Rat is also departing on a tour in September with fellow doom metallers Green Lung in the USA. So if you wanna see them, I highly recommend it.  450
Brutal Resonance

Castle Rat - Into The Realm

8.5
"Great"
Released 2024 by King Volume Records
Have you ever stared at one of Frank Frazetta’s paintings and thought, “I wonder how this would translate to a 70s doom metal song?” The answer to that is probably not but if you’re one of the few who had that question then seek your answers no more as Castle Rat is here to burst through that curiosity lock and open your mind to a nine-track spree of medieval-fantasy galore on their debut album “Into the Realm”. And, yeah, sure, you might be thinking, “But Steve, isn’t this an industrial music site?” For the most part that’s true. But every once in a while I find something a bit outside the usual scene that I find so fascinating that I just have to write about it. This is that something, and I don’t feel like starting an entirely different blog to cater to another music genre. That would be way too much work. 

So, into the myth and lore of Castle Rat. This mythical band is led by the Rat Queen, joined by her merry band of cohorts The Count, The Plague Doctor, and The Druid and the stage actress Maddy Wrigh. Their arch nemesis is none other than death herself, The Rat Reaperess. Their mission is a simple one: expand the realm and destroy those who wish to destroy it. Quite honestly I think all four of these lads should be running a Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder tabletop session as a podcast playing their characters with a charming GM to guide them along the journey, but that’s just me. Maybe just release a stat-block for their fans and call it a day; it would suit them greatly. 


Onto the music. Castle Rat utilizes a range of hard rock and doom metal to come up with their well-orchestrated craft with a  couple of intermission tracks between. The album starts with the absolute screamer ‘Dagger Dragger’, which is one hell of an introductory jam session. Something raw and interpersonal met with a howling hellcat, groovy bass guitar, crunchier guitar riffs, and cymbals that slam at just the right moment. ‘Feed the Dream’ incorporates a bit more of the doom into their repertoire as guitars take on longer notes and The Rat Queen acts as a siren holding her notes and proving that she does, indeed, have an incredible voice. 

‘Resurrector’ comes in at just the right time; nothing but a plucking bass guitar for a few seconds over a minute, but still in the arena of what Castle Rat does. Right after this we jump into ‘Red Sands’ which keeps up the calm for the first minute or so before ambient winds lead us into a thumping rhythm which breaks open at the one-minute and forty-some second mark. Expertly placed pauses ramp up the tension throughout the track and adds a layer of atmosphere. ‘The Mirror’ is another short, atmospheric track featuring sharper twangs that gives off a bit of a hypnosis like state. 

The first two minutes of ‘Cry For Me’ is absolutely lovely; almost bluesy in a sense, but heartfelt and serene. But don’t get too comfortable with that as around the two-and-a-half minute mark does Castle Rat open up their doors to let the hard rock manifest within. The song ends out by going soft in the last section and filters downward. A final short intermission hits with ‘Realm’ before we enter the last two tracks on the album. ‘Fresh Fur’ is arguably one of their biggest hits and its no wonder why; a fantastically attitude laced fantasty-metal track with heightened vocals reverberating through empty caverns and a frenetic hard rock pace. The final track on the album ‘Nightblood’ features some of the best guitar work on the album and ends on a wonderful doom metal note.

Castle Rat has impressed me to hell and back on this album and I’ve come back to listen to it over and over again – especially to help fuel my workouts. And there’s a ton of other people who are crawling to this band. Tons of sold-out merch are a testament to that fact. So, yeah, join the realm. 

Castle Rat is also departing on a tour in September with fellow doom metallers Green Lung in the USA. So if you wanna see them, I highly recommend it. 

Jul 11 2024

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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