Who would have thought that the legendary speed metallers, ADX would move from France to Salt Lake City, Utah and release a new EP? Oh wait, it's actually Utah's resident traditional/speed metal band Castleaxe. Well, this band sounds a whole hell of a lot like ADX and that is definitely a compliment, because there just aren't enough bands out nowadays who have this particular sound.
The most noticeable aspect of the music on "Castlemaster" is the vocals. For lack of a better word, they're really quirky. They hit some extremely high notes and are pretty high pitched throughout the EP, with the occasional rough vocals that are more typical of a thrash band. If you've heard ADX before, then you already know what to expect on "Castlemaster," vocally anyway.
One major highlight on this EP is the lead playing. The melodies are all great and inserted in all of the right places. The melody on the intro to "The Philosopher's Stone" sets up the song nicely, giving it an almost epic feel. The solos are another awesome part of the music on "Castlemaster." The solos that can be found at the beginning of the songs "Eternal Konkwest" and "Ice Troll" are all fantastic.
Normally, there would be a lot of discussion about riffs, but the riffs here are pretty standard and are focused on being fast, with a lot of melody mixed in. But there really isn't a better way to create music of this genre than that, so no complaints here. This EP is a real fun one and it's great to see bands of this style, so Castleaxe receives the highest recommendation.
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"The Philosopher's Stone"
4.25/5 or 85%.