Released: Sept, Those Opposed Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
This is the ultimate in medieval themed metal. Granted there is plenty of metal out there that uses medieval instruments, but if you’re a kid who loves black, thrash and death metal and has a love of medieval themed games like Stronghold Crusader or Carcasonne, Darkenhold are that band you need to know. And this French outfit have delivered the most enjoyable piece of black metal I’ve heard all year with their third album CASTELLUM.
There is not a single track on this release with no replay value. The moment I stuck this album on it made me feel alive and happy and full of energy. The drums and vocals of ‘Strongholds Eternal Rivalry’ woke me up immediately and told me this album was onto a winner. ‘Le Castellas du Moine Brigand’ told me this band could deliver blistering black metal without blast beats or indecipherable vocals.
And the keyboards sounding so much like a harpsichord gave off images of the Arthurian Legend when I got to ‘Feodus Obitus’. There is a feeling of majesty and empowerment to every single track on this album and ‘The Bullwarks Warlords’ and ‘Medium Aevum’ conjour imagery of a great battle or siege which culminates the album at a mighty crescendo that’ll leave you feeling like you’ve been on a magical journey through time.
To all the people reading this, especially children, pick up this album if you want to know what happy black metal sounds like and how to bring your love of swords and chivalry and D&D to the world of extreme metal. This album will help any kid into power metal realise the black metal scene has something for them. Excellent work Darkenhold, please come to the UK some time soon.
Review by Demitri Levantis