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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Nightmare Castle - Blind Dead [Vomit Bucket Productions - 2013]

“Blind Dead” is the 11th full length release from this Louisiana based HNW project, which focuses most it’s  output around old horror movies/ horror figures. This release comes in the form of a double CDR set, which offers up four ‘walls’ that run between fourteen mintues & just under an hour

Theme wise this release focuses in on the 1970’s Spanish horror movie series The Blind  Dead- the series concerned a  group of living dead Knights Templar, who come awake after 100 of years of slumber. The reanimated corpses are dressed in monk gowns, and are half skeletons/ half mummy like- they are also blind too, as their eyes were pecked out by birds while their hanged bodies rotted on the gallows, so the hunt there hapless victims purely by sound . The series spawned four films in all, and these take in 1971’s “Tombs Of The Blind Dead”, 1973’s “Return Of The Blind Dead”, 1974’s “The Ghost Galleon”, and 1975’s “Night Of The Seagulls”.

Each of the four tracks here is themed around one of the four movies, and they are each named after the films original Spanish title’s- so first up we have “La Noche Del Terror Ciego”, which comes in at 19.05 mark. The track opens with a sample montage from the movie- taking in dialogue, the films mournful chanted soundtrack, and female screams. The ‘wall’ kick in at around the minute mark, & it’s built around a mid pace, focused & dense mesh of billowing ‘n’ juddering mid-range static textures, which have some slight traces of smaller jitter sub-tones around them. All of the textures here have a fairly similar tonal range to them- so the track comes off as fairly un- dramatic & one dimensional, yes it does have a pummelling musty quality that fits the subject well, but I just felt on the whole the track was bland & un-entrancing.

The other track on disc one is “El Ataque De Los Muertos Sin Ojos”, and once again this forty eight minute track starts off with a minute or so sample montage from the film. When the ‘wall’ kicks in it’s a mix of rapidly fixed churning ‘n’ rolling mid-ranged static tone, & a fixed thinner jittering static texturing. The churning ‘n’ rolling element has a slight distanced & faded quality, while the jittering texture adds an urgency to the ‘wall’. In the last ten or  so mintues the track seems to get denser, more & rushing/pummelling, but really the ‘wall’ is fairly fixed through-out.  I found this track an improvement on the first track, and as fixed HNW goes it’s ok- but ultimately I felt it rather lacked the entrancing textures this project normally utilizes.


Moving onto disc two, and first up we have “El Buque Maldito” which is the longer of the two tracks on this second disc with a running time of just over fifty five mintues. Once again we have another minute long sample montage from the chosen movie- then we're into the ‘wall’. This track is built around with a deep, dragged-out, murky, and fixed noise drone; and around the main tone there are thinner, more rapid, yet distant buffeting ‘n’ battering tones. The main tone very much brings to mind a either the huge sea bound sound of a boat scraping along a mass of rocks, or locked, aged & churning sounds of antiquated boat engine. And the secondary tones bring to mind distant sounds of a constant sea storm heard from in side a ships hull- all of this is very fitting as the third film in the series,1974’s The Ghost Galleon, was set at sea.
As the track progresses both main & sub-tones seem to speed-up, but other wise this ‘wall’ remains fairly fixed in it’s textural noise patterns. I must say this ‘wall’ stands as my favourite of this release, as the textures are chosen well, and they are effective/ entrancing too.

So last of all we have “La Noche De Las Gaviotas”, and this track comes in at the 14.35 mark. Once the track opens with another minute long sample montage from the movie, then we’re into the ‘wall’, and it’s a mixture of fairly rapidly cascading rolls of thick rumbling tone, which are flecked with thinner jittering static in their folds. It’s certainly a very thick & engulfing ‘wall’, but sadly it just doesn’t seem to grab my attention much beyond it’s first few mintues.

I’m afraid to say for the most part “Blind Dead” rather disappointed me, which is a real pity as I normally enjoy Nightmare Castle work, and I’m a fan of the Blind Dead series too.  I think the issue  here is ,while the ‘walls’ have fittingly dense & horror fed vibe, sadly the textures used are mostly rather lacking in inspiration, depth & longevity.  We’ll chalk this up as a bad day in the office, and hope Nightmare Castle returns to his normal form on his next release.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Roger Batty
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