Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mastercastle - Wine of Heaven


Man I don't know shit about this kind of metal, but I know that it's boring and worthless.  Mastercastle waste no time telling you that they're going to waste your time, because it's a mere fifteen seconds into the opening "Drink of Me" that they give you the first taste of their riffwriting prowess, or more accurately their lack thereof.  Mastercastle's biggest failing is without a doubt the sheer amount of uninteresting, plodding half-riffs that dominate the album, as energy can never build up to anything worthwhile.  They don't even attempt to build towards anything, the album is really content to just sit and chug shiftlessly at a low-mid pace for the entire runtime and that's about the extent of the creativity you'll find on here.

I'll give the vocals credit for being fairly sweet and smooth, but it's unfortunate that she's given nothing good to sing over, and her vocal lines themselves are just as static and feckless as the rest of the band.  You'd think a band that's clearly built around melodic vocals would have at least a bit of sense to actually write some good melodies.  But no, here we are, with nothing ear catching or interesting happening anywhere.  Wine of Heaven is a creatively bankrupt knockoff of... something.  I dunno man, I never listen to this kind of faux-gothic symphonic metal that astoundingly lacks gothic appeal, worthwhile symphonics, and even rudimentary metal, but something this lame and uninspired just has to be based on something else that's actually good.  Within Temptation sounds like this, right?  Yeah even if it's not a perfect match, it's the same idea of utterly riffless fluff with occasional keyboards that don't create any sort of atmosphere or carry any gorgeous melodies or anything of the sort.  Call it unprofessional to not be familiar with the scene if you like, but I know weak music when I hear it.  It's all very sluggish and bloated, with simplistic two-note chugs comprising every riff and vocals just sort of languidly floating over the top with very little emotion to complement an otherwise pleasant timbre.  It's very amateurish.  Listen to "Hot as Blood", the intro sounds like the intro to basically any decent trad metal song with a solo guitar jamming a simple riff while the bass drum thumps underneath, preparing for when the track unleashes and goes somewhere.  But it doesn't!  This obvious intro is actually the basis of the entire song.  It's just stuck in fucking intro riff mode for five minutes and ends before the band can figure out what the fuck to do with itself.  Even lamer is that this is, by a fairly noticeable margin, the fastest song on the album.  This is the most energy they can muster, a five minute long intro riff.

For an alleged "power metal" band, there's no power here.  It's a directionless mess of non-riffs that accomplish nothing and I recommend this to nobody.  If nothing else, Mastercastle has improved my opinion of Delain a thousandfold, since I now have a point of reference as to what this music sounds like when shit actually happens.

RATING - 18%

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