12 Mar 2022 - Thorsten
Black Metal | Eisenwald | Release date: 25 Feb 2022 | Favorite song: Our Journey Through Forever
This record could be used by my alter ego, aka in real life, for both of the subjects I teach – History and English. And no, it is not as dreadful as the combination might sound, because Ceremonial Castings from Massachusetts serve a re-worked collection of songs from their vast discography. A kind of “Best Of” but with the songs having been re-visited, re-written and re-recorded!
Ceremonial Castings was formed in 1996 by brothers Jake and Nick Superchi and musically this band played a form of music that draws influences from so many different genres that Discogs uses the simple enumerational genre “Symphonic blackened death metal” for it. As strange as it may sound, this description is pretty accurate. Very often we witness the tumbling drums that death metal is known for. A lot of the vocals are pretty black’ish and the symphonic elements in the background should not be dismissed as mere add-ons! The only things missing from the description are the sometimes very gothic sounds and field recordings that the band embedded in their songs. The way they re-arranged and re-visited their older material on this 2CD/2LP release is really something and some tracks benefit highly from it – so much one might think they are new songs altogether. With this release the musical vision of the band becomes much clearer, just like their opus magnum Salem 1692 has become much clearer with the re-worked vision, released two years ago, also via Eisenwald, just like this one.
Another interesting fact about the band is the fact their musical vision of what they call “Bewitching Black Metal” is closely intertwined with their family history and the history of the region they grew up in, the northern part of Massachusetts. The Superchi brothers are related to the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, a writer famous and infamous among the American writers of the first half of the 19th century, whose most famous work is surely The Scarlet Letter which was set in the late 17th century against the backdrop of Puritan New England. So much for the usage my English lessons. Now onto the historical stuff: Hawthorne himself, and thus also the Superchi brothers, was related to John Hathorne, the judge during the time of the Salem Witch Trials, one of the darkest historical episodes in the history of the US. Thus we can see why the Superchis had such a strong connection to this period in time that it became the central motif for their songs. Just like Hawthorne had felt the urge to deal with his family background, so had Jake and Nick also felt it and dealt with their family treasure chest of dark stories and negative images connected to the Trials. And of course, this topic cannot adequately put into bubblegum-pop, at least not if it shall be taken seriously. Jake and Nick used the different varieties of music they were listening to. If you like UADA (Jake’s momentary main-band) and their highly-appealing version of Black Metal and if you want to find out where their music comes from, then you should not miss out on Ceremonial Castings.
Then you will also know whether I can use it in class. And maybe also in which class.