Wednesday 13 March 2019

Asthma Castle - Mount Crushmore (Album Review)

Release date: March 15th 2019. Label: Hellmistress Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Mount Crushmore – Tracklisting

1.The Incline of Western Civilization
2.Mount Crushmore 05:07
3.Here Come the Black Ship
5.Brazilian Catbox Incident
6.The Book of Duderonomy


Zach - vocals
Justin E - guitar
Cam - guitar
Bill Mountain - bass
Adam Jarvis - drums


Mount Crushmore is the debut album from Asthma Castle. I first became aware of these guys originally a decade ago when the band released their debut EP – Jesus, Mary and Broseph and it made a mighty impression on myself. Now fast forward nine years and the band are ready to release their debut album. Why the long wait. Perhaps because some of the members are part of the following bands – Pig Destroyer, Misery Index, Scour, Passage Between and Crawler.

Mount Crushmore is a stirring mix of Doom, Sludge, Stoner, Psych and Hard Rock. Taking influence from bands such as Mastodon, Baroness, Thin Lizzy and High On Fire. However, that only tells a part of the overall story. As this album has a dark and heavy progressive groove lurking in the shadows. Asthma Castle become a more sinister and heavier band in the second half of the album.

The first half of the album is perhaps the strongest part of the album with the band playing a wide range of different psychedelic sludge/stoner grooves. Opening song – The Incline Of Western Civilization – is a good indicator of what to expect for each of the excellent six songs held on the album. As the music is quite ferocious but one that offers thrilling moments of melodic Sludge/Stoner based grooves.

Second song – Mount Crushmore – has a more hardcore based edge and will please fans of High On Fire the most. The song has a glorious uplifting violent energy and the vocals have a Mastodon influence to them in places. Though it’s the music that holds everything together. The lyrics are very cool and match the slightly doom based atmosphere the band have included here.

Third song – Here Comes The Black Ship – has a classic Thin Lizzy sound running through it’s dark veins and Asthma Castle just run away and have fun with this song. The harsh vocals are quite intense in places but they’re handled superbly well. The sludgier aspects of the album start to come through around this song and Asthma Castle start to have a more threatening presence around them.

As I stated previously, the second half of the album isn’t as strong as the first half. However, Asthma Castle still pull out all the stops in creating a darker style of music and it’s quite refreshing to hear the band take a few creative risks with their music. The standout song on the second half has to be the final song – The Book of Duderonomy – as Asthma Castle leave you wanting more.

The production is excellent and this allows the band to impress from the start with the many different musical elements they’ve included on this album. Mount Crushmore is a winning record and despite a few flaws this will entertain the most jaded of Sludge/Stoner Metal fan.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo. Mount Crushmore will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via HellmistressRecords from March 15th 2019.


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