Splits are ideally awesome, with two bands combining their sounds for one album. Often times though it ends up that one side has a great band while the other has some weakness that jumped on. While Black Castle doesn't have as much to offer as A Day In Black And White, the two forces combined make a decent split.
If you've heard My Heroes Have Always Killed Cowboys, then you know ADIBAW can rocktually kick some serious behind. The three songs on this split sound a lot like the songs from MHHAKC, and could even be B-Sides from that album, although the sound does seem to have a little bit more rawness than the demo had. The first song, "In A Grove," is recorded live and contains no vocals. It feels like a more condensed version of "The Illusion Of The End," with less beating around the bush and more of an aim in the direction of the post rock crescendo. Next we get, "What Do You Want Me To Do, Sign Your Freakin' Yearbook?", which comes across as an alternate version of the second track from MHHAKC, "There Are Objects And Objects." But unlike "There Are Objects," "What Do You Want?" doesn't have a twinkly breakdown, but just drives forward the entire time. Due to the straight forwardness, the song comes off sounding kind of generic, but the big-orchestrated sound it gives off is great. Finally, we are given "Part One," which more than makes up for the fact there are only three ADIBAW songs. I don't know this song wasn't put on MHHAKC, as that album seemed a little too short, and this would've definitely made the album better. "Part One" spirals upwards until it spears itself through the roof and floats around on the blanket of night, eventually waking to a nightmare of sorts and falling down to earth into a heap of screams, delay effects and pounding drums.
Like following the kid at the talent show who could suck his own dick, following A Day In Black And White definitely increases the pressure for whoever comes next. In this case, Black Castle isn't able to live up to the previous act. Not even close. Black Castle sounds a lot like the OOP screamo band, Cobra Kai, whose sound is basically mid tempo screamo with synth. It makes you want to dance and convulse on the ground at the same time. Although the keyboard bass/keyboard groove in "Oh No! Oh No! Oh No! OH YEAH!" (awesome Family Guy reference) and intro to "How To Do The Wrong Thing, The Right Way" are really awesome, overall Black Castle falls short. I've heard they put on awesome show, but from this recording, there's definitely room for improvement.
One side is awesome, the other a bit mediocre. The A Day In Black And White side definitely makes this buy worthy though, and if you've never heard Cobra Kai before, you might really enjoy the Black Castle side. The artwork is pretty radical, the use of grey, blue and white definitely works, and there's no blood splatters! Respek. Also, I wonder if it's a coincidence that the two band's names go together like this: A Day In Black (Castle) And White. CONSPIRACY!
6.9 / 10
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