Castratii - Eora
The Eora were a group of indigenous Australians who hunted and gathered in New South Wales' Blue Mountains. Here, slopes of dense vegetation are torn apart by gorges, hundreds of metres deep. Maybe it's this kind of scenery that inspires Castratii - Blue Mountain natives - to sound so dramatic. Their electronic drones swell up and down like peaks and valleys. The wind takes the vocals and scatters them across the forest.
But were the real Eora ever as creepy as this? Photos shows the band's two faceless members hidden behind swathes of black fabric, like stereotypical bad guys from every fantasy film ever. Minor chords and dour motifs make up the bulk of the songs, while organs and crackling static help ramp up the melodrama.
It's all a bit po-faced, but you need to embrace these kinds of theatrics. Once you've done that you can enjoy how much 'The Hanging' sounds like a Victorian execution, or how 'Kingdom's like a ghostly curse.
Along the way Castratii stir in new ingredients to their witch's cauldron. The songs aren't broken into sections, rather, layers are gradually added or taken away, ensuring that the overall mood is never lost. This sort of structure will see Castratii compared to all sorts of ambient artists, but the pervasive gloom makes everything a bit more confrontational than that. It doesn't work as background music; you couldn't ever relax.
Other bands - like Fever Ray and Bat For Lashes - nail the aesthetic a bit more successfully, but this is still a great piece of fancy dress. Top prize at the Halloween fashion show.
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