Right from its start Salisbury band Castellan’s debut record “Feeding Tube” grips its listener aggressively, a hold that it keeps up until its last moments. As vocalist Brook Laing shouts “Force it down, throw it up” on “Hunger Gospel” the music hits hard and does force its way into your mind, a place it won’t be leaving too soon either.

Castellan’s sound combines relentlessly pummelling drums with dynamic bass and guitar lines, topped off with the rasping half-breaking vocal delivery creating a feel not unlike bands such as Dillinger Escape Plan. To compare Castellan’s debut with another record is almost ignoring one of its main triumphs; that is is fully formed in style and confident in itself.


One of the most striking elements of the record are its lyrics, Laing is unafraid to scream phrases such as “She subscribes to your gospels of hunger”, when delivered so confidently it is lines like this that hold tight long after the record ends. The overall theme of the record seems to be one of regret and anger, all conveyed through a strong sense of aggression. However, where some lyrics of this kind can translate as whiny and self-important there is no chance of that here, one line in “The Carnage I Am” even challenges this; “Although my cup is full I can’t grasp the things I do”. Occasionally the vocals verge on the anthemic, leading to one of the records most satisfying moments on the strongest track “Milk Teeth” as the vocals transition from; “It was selfish to keep you here my love but you see Vultures get lonely too and I promise if you go I’ll eat you whole and I will never lose you” to “I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again; I wish I could have been your Medicine”. This line shows the cohesive nature of the bands song writing, referring to an earlier lyric “I wish I could be your medicine”.


This cyclic lyric is just one of the ways “Feeding Tube” impresses in terms of music and song writing quality. structurally “The Carnage I Am” spends no time repeating itself and instead moves from one idea to the next, never missing a beat and being all the more exciting for it. One particularly satisfying moment comes when an impressive guitar line in “Milk Teeth” is repeated perfectly by the bass, the dynamics of the record are really where its strengths lie. It would however be wrong to not mention the production, both the production and mastering of the record are of the same high standard of the music, allowing room to breathe in amongst the often chaotic riffing.

Musically “Feeding Tube” is both challenging and exciting, but the real success here is in the context. Castellan are an unsigned band (probably not for much longer) but as a piece “Feeding Tube” displays confidence and assertion that belies their years. This record is one that could easily be a second of third album of a well established band, the quality of the production and the originality of the song writing proves this and is best found in the final track. “Milk Teeth” is almost nine minutes long, it contains a jazz piano/violin outro and its possibly the heaviest and most exciting track of its type that I’ve heard all year. As a final track it collects all the best parts of the earlier material and creates a statement of artistic intent, one of the most exciting, aggressive and confident statements you’ll probably here on a debut record. No need to force it down, “Feeding Tube” is impossible to
ignore and is all the more essential for it.

“Feeding Tube” is due for physical/digital release on December 15th.

Line Up
S. Benson – Guitars
J. Vail – Bass
B. Laing – Vocals
L. Mulholland – Drums

Wordage by Oli Richards.

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