ANCIENT CEREMONIES MAGAZINE (Portugal)
Apartado 60334, 2701-904 Amadora, Portugal
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
Hailing from Ukraine (No! This is not that Cradle-of-Filth-Look-A-Like band with the same name!), these guys kind of surprised me because when I saw the layout of this CD and noticed their young faces, I thought they were an immature band playing some sort of Death/Thrash in the Polish vein. After a couple of demo-tapes, "Hatenourisher" is the debut of this band who started playing Gothic Brutal Death Metal (?!) (as a matter of fact you can notice some reminiscences by listening to some melodic parts in the song "Night of Saint-Bartholomew").
Well, CASTRUM is undoubtedly not that young band I thought (they look like teenagers, though they've been around since '94) but they really know how to create some interesting music. Mixing Death and 80's Thrash, they've actually created a good album. In spite of this, I think this material works better live than in disc. The production is average. We can more or less hear all the instruments and the band opted to record only one guitar line that mixed with the competent rhythmic section really gives us those 80's European Thrash nostalgic memories.
They don't bring in anything new (far from that). However, I think this album is worth some attention. Unoriginal but true! So... try to give them a chance and listen to 35 minutes of underground-uncompromising-Death Metal. Guilhermino Martins (6/10)
BLACKMETAL.COM (USA)
Cybertzara, P.O. Box 5488, Novato, CA 94948, USA
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
Raging Blackened technical Death Metal by CASTRUM from the Ukraine; hailing from the same scene as NOKTURNAL MORTUM! Melodic, yet utterly brutal & intense with a touch of epic atmosphere! Dual vokill attack! Speedy Thrashing Grind, or Doomy darkness, these guys skillfully present an amazing album that surely proves to be essential for collectors of Russian Underground Metal! Import CD from Bloodbucket Productions, Canada! "Death Metal Renaissance to be continued..."
CENTRA WEBZINE (Indonesia)
c/o Ronny, Lodan 27 Malang, 65142, Indonesia
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
Have you ever heard death metal band from Ukraine? This is first time I heard some promising underground band hailing from Uzhgorod, their 1st album basically taken from their latest material in Dec. 2000, contains 8 tracks of medieval melodic death metal, mostly influenced by European death metal bands, entirely composition was build by melodic guitars riffs remind me to IN FLAMES style, even they combined some doom part such as AMORPHIS style, the dual vocals mostly intent between middle growling and high pitched, the lyrical concept almost deals with european christianity history even some lyrics based on the bands personal experiences. 35 minutes of medieval death metal will blown away your ears. CASTRUM was signed to Ukrainian label, Metal Force for tape format and Canadian label Bloodbucket signed them for CD format. Get it!!! (Ronny)
CORRIDOR OF CELLS WEBZINE (Canada)
c/o Jacek Furmankiewicz, P.O. Box 63, Pointe-Claire, QC, Canada, H9R 4N5
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions) Rating: 4/10
New Canadian label Bloodbucket Prod. arrives on the scene with two wildly different releases (quality-wise). After the impressive release from Canadian blast-meisters HORDE OF WORMS comes this rather uninspiring effort from Ukrainian 3-piece CASTRUM. There is only one thing I have to say here: production, production, production! This ain't 1990 anymore where any band could record a demo in their basement and as long as they had a few blast beats and growled it would become an instant cult classic. In 2002 death metal is well over a decade old and we really expect much more in terms of quality, especially sound quality. Unfortunately this CASTRUM release sounds pretty much like a demo: nearly a mono-like sound, muddy guitar, muddy drums, etc. The songwriting is nothing great either: just your typical, run-of-the-mill primitive death metal, I've heard it done a thousand times before, but usually better. Sorry, but CASTRUM still have a long, long way ahead of them before they can offer anything that can compete with the best bands today (just have a listen to the new GURKKHAS for an example how modern death metal should be done). Sorry, but I'll pass on this one.
COUNTESS GORE'S UNDERGROUND METAL DOMAIN (Canada)
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
The HORDE OF WORMS guys sent me this CD. I can not thank them enough for this!!!! It fucking rules supreme. Everything I use to describe something good comes out into this CD. Intense, extreme, brutal, powerful, in your face, technical, not too generic, yadda yadda. Gut wrenching vocals, thrashing guitars, insane drumming, what more could you ask for deathmetal fans? Well, the fact they are Canadian too!! Canadian metal is uprising even more all the time, especially with it's unique sound. These guys are a good example. Get this CD damn it. (Eileen)
DEFENESTRATED 'ZINE (USA)
c/o Ben Goddard, 48 Rosecliff st., Boston, 02131 MA, USA
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions, 2001) Rating: 8/10
Damn, I'm really digging this! "Hatenourisher" is the 1st full-length release of CASTRUM, a considerably new brutal, melodic death metal band from Ukraine. But wait...there's more...all the lyrics are about Medieval times. Now how metal is that. There are eight tracks on "Hatenourisher", each are mid-paced songs with lots of melodic guitar lines (some with a more middle-eastern influence to them...see "Night of Saint-Bartholomew") and aggressive drumming. The guitars also do more aggressive tremolo moments but are still dominantly melodic. This creates a successful balance of brutality and melody. For instance, listen to the chorus line of "Painful Sighs in Castrum". The drums are doing full-on thrash beats, while the guitars are playing a very sensitive, melodic line. The bass does not stick out all that much on "Hatenourisher", but you can tell it's there and for the most follows the guitar. If you think about it, the balance between brutality and melody in CASTRUM almost musically illustrates the time period the lyrics are talking about. Keeping that point in mind, the lyrics tell of Medieval times, customs, direct quotes, and stories in an intelligent manner. Almost like what NILE does with Ancient Egypt. Unfortunately, I'm not too big of a fan of CASTRUM's vocals. They feel very muffled in these songs. They feel like they're being buried by the music, which shouldn't be the case. But the vocals aren't THAT bad enough to ruin some truly awesome songs that CASTRUM presents on "Hatenourisher". I definitely recommend this to all death/speed metal fans, especially ones who enjoy the more melodic, intricate side of things. The music compliments the lyrical theme very well. A very enjoyable listen that is easy enough to lie down to and also mosh to. My pick tracks are "Hatenourisher", "Painful Sighs in Castrum", "Night of Saint-Bartholomew", "Source of Hate", and "Rapid Death". Reviewed by: Ben
DOWN THE WIND 'ZINE (Italy)
c/o Buscaino Lidia, Via G. Amendola 7/A, 20015 Parabiago (MI), Italy
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
Here's the debut album of the Ukraine band CASTRUM. In spite of this, the band is not completely new in the underground scene and you probably heard their name for playing live with bands such as KRABATHOR. The Canadian label Bloodbucket Prod. defined their music as "medieval death metal", a really original description but doing reviews I must be more concrete: CASTRUM play an intense NWOSDM with lots of interesting mid-tempos and doom breaks, enriched with vocals variations from growls to really remarkable dark clean vocals (like in the "Night of Saint-Bartholomew") passing through incredible catchy screams more in the thrash style! It's incredible how they were able to make sound all these parts coherent: it's not one minute I felt this recordings sound fragmentary or disjointed. Unfortunately, this recordings have a big limit in the really poor production that makes it sounds more like a demo or a live session recordings than a debut CD. I hope this band will be supported in recordings a new release with a stronger production as I do really like their style and I'm yearning to listen more from these Ukraine guys!
ETERNAL FROST WEBZINE #12 (USA)
P.O.Box 584, Conyers, GA 30012-0584, USA
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
With Hatenourisher, Ukraine's leading death metal band CASTRUM has really come into its own. Long-time readers will recall comparisons to elder AMORPHIS, and while CASTRUM still retains those epic elements, Hatenourisher shows a much more brutal side of the band.
Take the title-track opener for example. Beginning with a rather inventive drum "solo" (if you will), the threesome shortly segues into a bout of blasting by Doni backed by intense vocal shrieks (though the vocals are predominantly growls) courtesy of front-man and guitarist Cornelius and then moving into fast-paced melodic death metal territory. This is the basic formula for CASTRUM's music, though at times it is more melodic and at other times, more brutal and in-your-face.
     Each member contributes his own uniqueness to CASTRUM: Cornelius with his varied vocal stylings, Doni with his aforementioned memorable drum work and Roma with his catchy basslines. What helps the band and album out immensely is the strong, up-front production, which you'll find is not the norm for such obscure underground bands. Every instrument can be heard clearly, but that is not to say the sound is overly-clean. The all-important drums are mixed perfectly, sporting a killer snare sound.
The material--eight songs in total--consists mostly of tracks from the previous three demo tapes, though the title track is a new song, and one of their best yet, I might add. It's great to hear songs such as "Unprecedented Torture" and "Night of Saint Bartholomew" accompanied by outstanding production.
These guys have come a long, long way since their '96 Burial of the Affection rehearsal demo debut and I hope that this record really does well for them, because CASTRUM is a hard-working, scene-supporting band that deserve all the success they receives. Buy this or fucking die!
Preferred tracks: "Hatenourisher", "Night of Saint Bartholomew", "Painful Sighs in Castrum", "Rapid Death", "Source of Hate". (goden)
FORTITUDE WEBZINE (Moldova)
Dmitriy Crasnojon, Banulescu-Bodoni str. 57, ap.72, MD-2005, Chisinau, Moldova
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions) Rating: 9/10
Finally!!! Ukrainian CASTRUM (not to mix up with the Croatian vampires) unleashed their debut CD release. Most of the material on this bonecrushing effort was initially featured on the band's demo and rehearsal tapes as well as on "The Leading Spirit of Medieval Tortures" MC (out on Metal Force recs in 1999). Of course all these tracks were re-recorded for the album. By those times CASTRUM used to be a 100% Death Metal band. Now things have changed notably. The band added a huge load of hysterical blasting brutality, punishing rhythm-section and overall aggression in this release. Music got very much faster thanks to new drummer. Bestial rasp vocals by the band's mastermind Cornelius spice "Hatenourisher" up with an extreme Black Metal spirit. Check these guys and order their CD if you feel like getting familiar with Ukrainian Death/Black violence. (Krasniy; 17.07.2001)
KLOKRADIO (Holland)
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions) Rating: 7,8
I always thought that CASTRUM was a German band but now I know that they're heading from Ukraine I'm not surprised either. They play the kind of brutal death metal which is very popular in Eastern Europe and mix this with influences of Russian bands like SHAH and KRUIZ (especially the breaks and song structures) and Swedish melodic death metal bands like DARK TRANQUILLITY (riffing). This blend leads to some great brutal yet complex death metal music although I can imagine that death metal fans find the music too complex and other fans find the music too underground or too heavy. But if you'll listen through this you will find out that "Hatenourisher" is a cool album.
METAL-ONLY.COM (Sweden)
Jan-Erik "Janne" Nyman, Tvistevägen 9A Läg 106, 90729 Umeå, SWEDEN
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
The band CASTRUM consists of three persons, Cornelius (vocals and guitars), Doni (drums) and Roma (bass) and they come from Ukraine. The band's history begins in 1994 and they have released a couple of demos before this debut album "Hatenourisher".
Basically CASTRUM plays quite aggressive and brutal Death metal but they have taken some influences from Gothic metal and got a nice medieval atmosphere over the music. The result of this is melodic but aggressive Death metal that takes the listener on a journey to the medieval Europe. Cornelius sings both with the quite typical Death metal growling and with quite high screams, which gives the music more of a chaotic feeling. However, I think the vocals could be better and personally I think that this album would be better if Cornelius sang more with the traditional growling.
The lyrics are quite historical and they deal mostly with the witchcraft trials that took place in medieval Europe. However, there are exceptions. The song "Rapid Death" doesn't deal with the witch trials (at least that is my interpretation) but the lyrics are about the evil in this world in a more general perspective.
From the first song "Hatenourisher" to the last "Rapid Death" the band plays the same style of music and no bigger changes can be found. However, musically this works and the album is quite easy to listen to. My personal favourite songs on this album is "Source Of Hate", "Night Of Saint-Bartholomew" (which have a nice introductive monolog in the beginning of the song) and "Hatenourisher".
If you like melodic Death metal bands that doesn't sound like IN FLAMES but are old school I can recommend this album and this band. However, there are room for development in this band. (Janne)
METALSHTORM (Australia)
c/o Adrian, P.O. Box 445, Glen Waverley, Vic 3150, Australia
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
This has been out for a while now on Bloodbucket Productions, run by members of HORDE OF WORMS. It's old school death metal with black influences and melodic riffing which sounds like something off a power metal album. I have no problem with that in and of itself, CASTRUM have made a very ambitious effort with this release and they should be applauded for that. Unfortunately while I could recognise that they are trying to create some atmosphere (the music is played with a lot of conviction, the vocalist gives %110) and so on in the music I failed to get caught up in it and ultimately this disc left me a little dissappointed. I'm not ready to give up on this band, but I think they'd need to inject a fair bit of brutality and heaviness into the mix to really get me going - CASTRUM makes me want to listen to Sorcery-era KATAKLYSM, with sweeping riffs full of emotion and enough heavy brutal power to make your nuts explode. But judging from the influences displayed on this disc I doubt CASTRUM'll be heading in that direction - so while this isn't to my taste, if you're into blackened death played with passion (no keyboards thank christ) then check out "Hatenourisher".
MIRGILUS SICULORUM (Romania)
Boros Szabolcs, Függetlenség str. 50/7, 4150 Székelyudvarhely, Hargita, Románia
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions) Rating: 8/10
Aki nem tudná annak elárulom, hogy a CASTRUM zenekar létrehozója és egyben fő dalszerzője az a Cornelius, akinek nevéhez fűződik többek között az ENCOMIUM 'zine keszítése, a zenekar weboldala, és az ENCOMIUM weboldala mellett még egy nemhivatalos DESTRUCTION site-ot is üzemeltet, és ezek mellett még suliba is jár, tehát gondolom, hogy nemsok szabadidővel rendelkezhet, és az sem mellékes, hogy Ukrajnában lakik ahol azért valljuk be, hogy az élet nem is annyira egyszerű... A CASTRUM-ot 1994-ben hívta életre Georgius társával együtt, majd számos tagcsere után alakult ki a mai felállás (Cornelius: gitár/ének, Roma: bass, Doni: dobok). Három demo után, amiknek nagyon jó visszhangjuk volt az undergroundban, '98-ban szerződést kötöttek az ukrán Metal Force Records-al es megjelentették a The Leading Spirit Of Medieval Tortures albumot kazettán. Ezt követően 2001-ben megjelentették a kanadai Bloodbucket Prod.-nál a bemutatkozó CD-jüket, Hatenourisher címmel, amin tulajdonképpen a kazettán már szerepelt számok hallhatóak (kivétel a címadó), viszont egy jobb studióban újra feljátszották a jelenlegi felállással. Annyit még kell tudni, hogy a studióval volt néhány "apróbb" probléma ezért végül egy másik studióban is kellett rögzíteni néhány számot, de ez nem nagyon hallatszik a végeredményen. 35 perc játékidő alatt 8 számot hallhatunk, bár kicsit rövidnek érzem az albumot, legalább nincsen üresjárat. A CASTRUM alapvetően death metalt játszik viszont számos más stílusból jól ismert jegyeket is magán hordoz a zenéjük, gondolok itt a thrash illetve black metalra. A zenészek felkészültsége kifogástalan, a dobos srác Doni játékát külön ki kell emelnem, nem véletlenül van neki diplomája dobolásból, amit itt bemutat az a dobolás magasiskolája. Cornelius is minden számban megmutatja, hogy ő sem kezdő a hangszerén, ötletes riffjei, és dallamos gitárszólói mind ezt bizonyítják. Nagy kedvencem a hírhedt Malleus Malleficarum könyvről szóló Book Of Malediction, amiben nagyon jó tempóváltások vannak, de szintén ilyen zseniális a Night Of Saint-Bartholomew is. Minden egyes dalban találtam valami érdekeset, valami egyéni ízt ami kiemeli a CASTRUM-ot a sok középszerű death metal csapat közül. A Hatenourisher egy egyéni ízekkel fűszerezett, jól megírt death metal album, és melegen ajánlott mű a műfaj szerelmesei számára. (Mirgilus)
SHOCK! MAGAZINE (Hungary)
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions) Rating: 8/10
Az ukránnak mondott, de 2/3 részt magyar tagokkal működő CASTRUM már jó ideje elég nagy hírnévnek örvend az undergroundban, 3 nagyon jó kritikákat kapott demója által, amelyeket 1999-ben egy kazettán meg is jelentettek. Vezetőjük Cornelius pedig igazi fanatikus. Működtet egy papír- és web-formátumban is megjelenő fanzine-t, az Encomiumot, ezenkívül számos homepage készítője és webmestere (köztük egy nem hivatalos Destruction honlapé is). Zenekarával 2001-re sikerült végre egy szerződést elérni, mégpedig a kanadai Bloodbucket Productions-al, amelyet a szintén hírhedt kanadai death horda a HORDE OF WORMS főnöke működtet. Gyanítom ezen első anyag zenei része még saját pénzből készült, mert a hangzás eléggé beteg. Itt-ott eltűnnek a lábdobok, hangosak a cinek, a gitár pedig túl van chorus-effektezve. De mindent egybevéve még ez sem képes semmit levonni a nagyon erős zenei anyag élvezetéből. Itt kicsit több mint 30 percben, nyolc számban ugyanis olyan intenzitású, svéd alapokon nyugvó, brutális dallamos death metalt hallunk, hogy az valami csoda. Ha jól tudom ezek a számok többnyire a demókról kerültek ide, újra feljátszva és az egyetlen újabb szerzemény a nyitó, címadó. Hát, ahogy ez kezd, az félelmetes (szerintem a lemez legjobbja), egyből egy pusztító grind csépléssel nyit (amihez persze kell Doni profi szintű dobolása) majd ez úszik át egyre húzósabbá, dallamosabba, hogy néha újra felpörögjön. Csúcspontja pedig a végén a kánonszerű, kicsit At The Gates-esen szomorkás dallam, majd az ez utáni indulószerű dühkitörés. Már itt megfigyelhető, hogy a mikrofont is birtokló Cornelius, nem egy hangon hörög, hanem hol mélyebben, hol károgósabban, sőt néha magas sikolyokra is vetemedik (a'la Tom Araya régen). Ez a változatosság pedig dicséretes. S ezzel a lendülettel folytatódik az egész album, van itt sebtiben végiggörgő dallamos brutalitás, Brand képében, epikusabb megfogalmazás a Night Of Saint-Bartholomew középkori történetében, Dissectiont idéző vadulás az Unprecedented Torture-ben valamint thrashes dinamika (kicsit Destructionos) a Rapid Death-ben. Amit legjobb hasonlósági alapként lehetne felhozni a számok felépítésben és az egész stílusban, az a Dismember Indecent And Obscene lemeze. Hasonlóan rengeteg témából építkeznek melyek között meg-megbújik egy-egy azonnal ható szívbemarkoló dallam.
Nagyon jól csinálják a srácok, de lenne egy-két észrevételem. Még jobban ütnének a számok, ha az ének hatásosabban, lenne ritmizálva (kedvenc vesszőparipám). Persze ez gitározás mellett nehéz, de megéri, mert hihetetlen plusz energiával bír lenni egy-egy jó refrén. Ennek hiánya miatt nem teszik annyira pl. a Book Of Malediction. Noha a kezdése hatásos, a sűrű szöveg miatt egybefolyik az egész énekrész. A másik meg, hogy akármilyen jó dobos is Doni, néha jobban át kéne gondolni a riffek dinamikáját és nem folyton a cinezés színező szerepével törődni.
Nagyon becsületes és jó munka ez, annak ellenére, hogy az első lemezek tipikus betegségeivel rendelkezik. Mindenkinek ajánlom, aki szereti az igényes, skandináv hatású, változatos, dallamokban és őrlésekben is gazdag death metalt jó dalokkal. (Tóth Balázs)
SHRUNKEN & MUMMIFIED Newsletter #1, January 2002 (Hungary)
c/o Erik Zöldi, Rákóczi út 118. 1/1, 3900 Szerencs, Hungary
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
Hey, that's it! Ukrainian Death Metal horde CASTRUM has finally managed to release their first CD! The nearly 35 minutes long material means both new and old, classic songs. Needless to say that all of them are worth to pay attention on as they are freshly recorded with a good sound (even the drum that frightened me at first has an enjoyable and audible sound!). They continued playing the style they (and probably still a lot of us) rave for. Death Metal with a lot of thrashy elements executing in a brutal and a melodic way at the same time. Besides, you will be enchanted by the intelligent lyrics dealing with various themes and which the vocalist/guitarist Cornelius utters in a lovely and understandably way that you can sing (growl) them together with him during listening and crushing in your living room.
SILENT REALM E-ZINE (Lithuania)
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
CASTRUM exists for about 10 years and have released few demo's. This CD is their debut, released by Bloodbucket Prod. (Canada). Ukraine is famous for its black metal bands. Yet CASTRUM is the first in Ukraine to play Death Metal (at least the first I know). And I like their work. Fast technical death metal with brutal vocals! 8 tracks, about 35 minutes. CASTRUM works on their 2nd album, which release is scheduled for the summer. (Ruslanas)
SOLEMN MUSIC (Malta)
P.O. Box 8, Zurrieq BPO, Malta (Europe)
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions - Canada)
Although I have had the possibility to listen to certain stuff from Ukraine, this is my first listen to a death metal band from this country. On "Hatenourisher" CASTRUM deliver 8 tracks of aggressive death metal in the old vein, but they also insert lots of melodic riffs. This is a wise formula in my opinion as the band, though keeps its roots in the death metal vein adds some spice to the whole concept. They are also not afraid to slow things a bit down and insert some ear friendly riffs and melodies. Unlike certain death metal bands, CASTRUM clearly show some of their influences that they range from classic heavy metal and 'modern' death metal. Another interesting thing here is that CASTRUM really knows how to keep the music flowing with the frequent riff and tempo change, thus making a pleasant CD to listen to. If you are into death metal with good ideas and flowing music, do not miss this out! (Chris)
TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE (Sweden)
c/o Vincent Eldefors, Rydsvägen 260 A.40, S-584 34 Linköping, Sweden
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions, 2001)
CASTRUM is a highly unusual death metal band. First of all they are from Uzhgorod in the Ukraine (don't confuse them with the Croatian black metal band with the same name) and second they play a very unique form of death metal with a strong gothic touch that is even further accentuated by their interest in medieval history. The band has been active since 1994 and are pretty well known on the extreme metal scene in Eastern Europe. Prior to this their debut cd release they have recorded three demos and one cassette for Metal Force Records. The music of CASTRUM is very technical and melodic at times but they are definitely brutal and extreme and not moving towards a Scandinavian melodic death metal sound. They should try to focus more on the unique melodies and groovy song structures in the future because they have found themselves a distinct sound of their own. Unfortunately they don't let it come through as much as I'd like them to on this album and thus this is really no more than a well performed and well produced brutal death metal release but not a very generic one. Perhaps they could delve deeper into their own native history next time because the old history of Russia / Ukraine is a very rich one. Stand-out tracks: "Hatenourisher", "Source Of Hate". (7/10)
THE METAL OBSERVER (Canada)
c/o Alex & Valerie Melzer, 71 Martinview Crescent N.E., Calgary, AB, Canada, T3J 2S5
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
After having known Ukrainian CASTRUM for some years now, I was kind of surprised by the feedback they received from my fellow writers, so I decided to give their debut CD "Hatenourisher" a more in depth listen to figure out, if they heard the same I do. And I must say that I cannot really share their point of view in general...
I agree with Mark as far as that CASTRUM play a mix from traditional Death Metal and more melodic Death Metal. But to me the mix of these two styles does not sound that stagnant, because they have quite some more heaviness to them as the regular Melodic Death band, but on the other hand offer us more diversity and also melody than many more regular and brutal acts, also by taking up some traditional riffing.
Sure, CASTRUM do not innovate the genre or have yet written truly outstanding tracks, do not get me wrong here, "Hatenourisher" is not the ultimate paragon of Death Metal, a future classic, but if you take it for what it is, the debut of a young band, then you'll have to realise the potential of these youngsters, because what they are delivering here might not be the pinnacle of creation, but definitely a solid foundation to build on.
The trio's compositions bring us a measured mix of furious Death Metal and more melodic, riff-oriented passages, all of it with a quite deep grunt, between blasts, double-bass and stomping mid-tempo that still has some wildness in it, which at times gets a little out of control, meaning that the arrangements at times are a bit bumpy still and the compositions have room for improvement, no doubt, yet to condemn them for this is a little premature, I think.
So so far CASTRUM are one of many Death Metal bands out there, but the roots are planted and the potential can be heard, so if they take "Hatenourisher" as first step to build on, they could present us with a raison d'être. So for now, check it out before getting, not a full recommendation yet. Alexander Melzer (6/10)
UNDERGROUND ZINE SCENE (USA)
618 West Harper Road, Mason, MI 48854, USA
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions) Rating: 6.5/10
CASTRUM has a long history, dating back to '94 when Cornelius formed the band. Now, CASTRUM have released 4 demos and this 8 song CD and have a distribution agreement with Bloodbucket Productions from Canada to distribute this. The music can best be described as death metal with some slight touches of atmospheric moments. The production isn't bad and the musicianship isn't bad. It's not your typical break neck death metal that you might expect. There is some melody. Hatenourisher, Book of Malediction are decent tunes.
UNDERWORLD 'ZINE (USA)
Roy Salvador G. Sierra
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
8 tracks of Hateful Death Metal!!! They started in 1994 & gone through some line-up changes. Now they are Cornelius: guitars/vocals, Roma: bass, Doni: drums. Those who said death metal is dead will be killed by this release!!! This is a real death metal treat!! This is the way true death metallers might want it! Brutal speed without sounding like a grind death band! Melodious without sounding Swedish!! A lot of really catchy tempo changes!!! Lyrically they are into medieval history of suffering & death! For true death metal bangers!!!
VAE SOLIS WEBMAGAZINE (Russia)
Kai Mathias Stalhammar, P.O.Box 371, 121151 Moscow, Russia
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions) - rating: 5,5 of 6
Finally, Ukraine's CASTRUM (don't confuse 'em with their Croatian namesakes) managed to come up with a debut CD, needless to say, an excellent one. Being comprised of eight songs (mostly old ones), "Hatenourisher" features a stunning cross between (true) death and black metal at it's best. Actually, this one is more death metal, however shouldn't we reckon this genre to BM movement?? At least, CASTRUM is thousand times more black metal (in the finest sense of this word) than f.ex. Croatia's CASTRUM or all those attempting-to-look-like-a-so-fucking-scary-vampire bands. Don't get me wrong, I deeply respect such bands as CRADLE OF FILTH (music is what we're talking about here... their attitude is something NOT to be discussed in this review), nevertheless I prefer "Hatenourisher" over "In The Horizons..." (the second CD by... guess whom? Sure, this band's namesakes). Surprisingly well executed, also being distinguishable, as well as hauntingly atmospheric, "Hatenourisher" represents some truly astounding piece of metal. The old songs sound in a completely different way, whilst what surprised me most of all, are the drum tracks – Doni isn't only a regular drummer, a man to fill the drummer's vacation, he contrived to make his parts no less important than guitar or bass lines. Yeah yeah, I know, you're craving to hear whom I'd compare them to. Ok, here you are: THE CROWN, FOREST OF IMPALED, early AURORA BOREALIS and ANCIENT RITES (circa "Blasfemia Eternal"). But does it mean that CASTRUM aren't capable of creating enrapturing and above all ORIGINAL music? Well, actually they ARE capable. All in all: this is definitely a brilliant debut. Now it shouldn't be difficult-of-access anymore, since it has been just officially released by Canada's Bloodbucket Productions (run by the guys from HORDE OF WORMS, also a band worth mentioning). However, the thing I don't like about this re-release, goes for the mastering which, sad to say, only weakened the overall execution. (review by Herr Stalhammar)
VAMPIRE MAGAZINE (Holland)
Ricardo Mouwen, Kapittelhof 34, 4841 GX Prinsenbeek, Holland
CASTRUM - "Hatenourisher" (Bloodbucket Productions)
This is number one out of two reviewed albums of the Ukrainian band CASTRUM. Cornelius and Georgius (who is no longer part of the band) formed the band in 1994, and since then have been working towards a debut release. After three demos, that time has finally come.
This debut full length disc by CASTRUM came to life in 2001, and was baptised "Hatenourisher". The recording features eight tracks of melodic Death/Thrash Metal that quite frequently reminds me of the newer sound of the gods we know as DEATH. A difference between the two bands is that CASTRUM is not as progressive in for instance the bass play, and also that the Ukrainian band frequently shifts back a few gears to calmer and often melodic interludes, unlike DEATH. Those parts are amongst the stronger points of this album, also because the production is a bit hollow. This leads to a rather dim guitar sounds compared to the drums that are a bit too dominant in the mix. In the melodic parts these drums are not as fast, so more room is left open for the guitars to fill in. The band has no problem in doing that, and the music is interesting at all times. Favourite tracks include "Painful Sighs In Castrum" and "Unprecedented Torture". Unfortunately there are very few new things in the music of CASTRUM so overall "Hatenourisher" is a well-played melodic Death/Thrash Metal recording that doesn't really add all that much to the genre besides a decent band.
The first CASTRUM album "Hatenourisher" shows that the band is very much capable of writing interesting Death Metal songs, although there are very few things on this album that haven't been done before. In review number two of this band, their newest album "Mysterious Yet Unwearied" is discussed. (Reviewed by Vincent on January 29, 2003)