For a band whose demo title is almost Latin for “Prayer For Solitude,” KASTIGATION go the opposite direction by teaming up an unusual cast of characters into a Black Metal syndicate. Just by listening you would never guess the lead guitarist is a teenage girl and the rhythm guitarist is in the United States Air Force. Black Metal is no longer just for the anarchist introvert dwelling on an icy mountaintop or the depths of his basement.
While the atmosphere is about as ethereal as a garage jam can be, it suits KASTIGATION's up-tempo approach. The guitars never sustain a riff too long, nor do the drums hang on the same beat. There are so many drum fills that they threaten the flow of the music at times. You can sense that these musicians are barely keeping their technical prowess in check. Still, they are not afraid to sport some flares of Death Metal and progressive highlights.
Songs like “Then We Prevail” take the genre's elements down to earth, with double bass drums thundering beneath an ever-evolving vortex of aggression. All the while the vocalist spits hateful acid to complement the instrumental fury. Guitar leads frequently shine forth, and a couple bass solos help create contrasts in intensity.
These Coloradoans are fierce but they don't rely on Norsecore blast-beats to deliver their message. The compositions are too deep to hide behind a constant wall of snares. Their melodies are neither depressive nor malicious, but passionately engaging.
This band was built for the concert stage, which explains why the production sounds more like a live recording than a studio mix. Still I wonder how this band would sound with a higher-grade production job, as it willingly transcends the basic Black Metal aesthetic. Hopefully some attention from labels can beef up the sound on future outputs.
(Online August 26, 2008)