Nightmare Castle - Phibes [Altar Of Waste - 2015]Here we have the welcome return of Nightmare Castle- the Louisiana based horror themed walled noise project of Clint Coker. The project was meant to end for good a year or so back, so it’s great to see Coker deciding to resurrected it, as it’s always stood as one of my favourite US walled noise projects.
Offered up here are two nearing half-an-hour slices of muffled, lo-fi, yet appealing HNW themed around the two 1970 Doctor Phibes movies( 1971’s The Abominable Dr. Phibes, and 1972’s Dr. Phibes Rises Again). The two films saw horror legend Vincent Price talking on the role of a undead doctor who is avenging the death of his wife, and trying to bring himself & his wife eternal life.
Nightmare Castles' take on walled noise has always been fairly simple in it’s make up, and mostly fixed structure wise. And the two tracks here follow on from the projects past work presenting two simplistic, fixed yet highly entrancing slabs of HNW, which nicely captures the vibe of classic horror fare.
So first up we have "The Abominable Dr. Phibes", and this comes in at the 27.34 mark.
The tracks opens with a short minute or so dialogue from the film, with Price talking about avenging his wife’s death. Then we’re into the ‘wall’, and this brings together a descending & muffled mid ranged juddering pattern, which is weaved by a single & repetitive higher pitched grating judder. The whole thing has a great murky & dusty, yet slurred tension about it which nicely fits the theme.
Second of course we have "Dr. Phibes Rises Again", and this comes in at just over the twenty five minute mark. Once again the track starts off with a minute or so movie sample, and this time it’s a mix of the films organ music, and more dramatic yet campy dialogue from Price. Then we’re into the ‘wall’ which finds three or four similar tone tumble & judders wrapped into a fairly rapid yet fixed textural pattern- this track has a great dusty, aged yet taut feeling about it, and I really got sucked into the tracks simple yet very moorish feel. The track ends with another sample from the movie- this time it’s dramatic yet tongue-in-cheek banter between Price & one of the films other actors.
All in all it’s great to see Nightmare Castle back on the scene again, and Phibes is a great come back release offering up two highly appealing slices of wall-craft. By all accounts there is more new NC material in the works, and I really can’t wait to hear it.Roger Batty