Re-mastered Version w/bonus tracks
Dark Forest Production – 2008 – U.S.A.
Ceremonial Castings knows the meaning behind raw black metal and they deliver with a certain precision and force that captivates you and has you returning to their albums again and again. Lord Serpent’s vocals are aggressive and contain a massive amount of savagery that’s combined with crushing riffs and symphonic keyboards as well as impressive drumwork.
The album opens with the sounds of a battlefield and quickly goes into one of Lord Serpent’s classic black metal screams and continues with a melodic guitar lead and shouts of battle taking place in the background. “Witchery” is another mesmerizing track with Lord Serpent’s spoken word that’s layered with Old Nick’s majestic synths and more eerie guitar riffs. This is one track that will definitely hook you in. “Heaven Falls Upon My Wings” is an instrumental track done by Old Nick that really shows his skills as a keyboard/synthesizer player. “Frostseasongoddess” is melodic with catchy riffs and atmospheric keyboards but still contains that level of darkness and brutality that will always be a part of Ceremonial Castings music.
“Lunacy Becomes Us” is another hauntingly musical interlude that’s followed by “The Beast in Black” which was originally from one of their earlier EP’s and skillfully re-recorded and re-mastered. “Ghost of Alice” is one that will really send chills to your core that talks about avenging the death of a seven year old girl named Alice. With careful arrangement and structure, the song comes across masterfully with searing guitar riffs and keyboards that are powerful and sorrowful at the same time. Four bonus tracks were added on this re-mastered version as well. “Martyr and Magic” which shows off more off Old Nick’s epic keyboard and, as a treat, three different cover tunes. “Witches Dance” (originally done by Merciful Fate), “Burning the Witches (originally done by Warlock), and “The Crowned and Conquering” (originally done by Nun slaughter). All three executed with perfect craft and shows tribute with a great amount of respect.
This is an album that should be up there with the black metal greats and hopefully will be one day. “Into the Black Forest of Witchery” flows seamlessly throughout the entire album and holds a sense of dark wonder that will keep you intrigued. If you haven’t gotten a copy of this you need get one now!