Ceremonial Castings - Salem 1692 (MMXX) (2020)


Unleashing a cosmic onslaught of highly melodic/symphonic Black Metal, today we have Ceremonial Castings and the re-recording of their 2008 opus “Salem 1692”. As one of the most promising and interesting Black Metal bands in the USA, it was quite a surprise to see this release pop in our inbox as the band has been in hiatus(?) since 2014. With over 70 minutes of enthralling music, this release is a true gem in the crowded Symphonic Black Metal arena.

The release leads off with the dreamy atmospherics of “Beneath the Sabbath Moon”, a track that quickly triggered old-school Emperor and Tartaros flashbacks, but with an even more melodic spin. Jake Superchi and company have done a great job in improving the quality of this release, making epic tracks like “Where the Witches Waltz”, “Obsidian Spells of Hysteria”, and the eerie “The Devil in Salem” completely pop with an over-the-top lushness and crafty guitar work.

Magical interludes like “The Dreamstalk Masquerade” are the perfect catapulting point for incisive songs like the dramatic “The Crucible and the Cross” and its dreamy vocal arrangements. Reminding us a bit of Ancient and their “Cainan Chronicle” album, pieces like “Damned Be Those of the Craft”, “Stones Upon the Warlock”, and “Onwards to Gallows Hill” have that cinematic edge to them that allows the listener to be fully immersed in the album’s lore.

Filled with mystical and very epic tracks like “When Winter Spectres Come” showcasing a very delicate balance between aggression and melody, is exactly what makes “Salem 1692” stand out from the rest of Black Metal releases in the USA when it was released. With added clarity, this release showcases the musical skills and visionary sound of Ceremonial Castings. If you are a fan of old-school Symphonic Black Metal and never got into this band, you better drop everything you are doing and pick up a copy of this release.

Band: Ceremonial Castings Album: Salem 1692

Label: Eisenwald

Release: November 27th, 2020

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Genre: Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal

Country: USA

Rating: 95/100

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