The duo that comprise Florida’s DARK CASTLE (vocalist/guitarist Stevie Floyd and drummer Rob Shaffer) have been known as doom metal’s version of The White Stripes. The male/female combination of this experimental sludge/doom band formed in the mid-section of last decade and grabbed the attention of doom/sludge metal circles with their 2008 “Spirited Migration” debut (released after their self-released “Flight Of Pegasus” EP). But it was also through the duo’s live shows in which would really amaze crowds; how merely two people would conjure such earth rumbling and colossal heaviness. Just through their live performances alone, DARK CASTLE can easily be classified as one of the heaviest bands in America today. And since then, the duo of DARK CASTLE have relentlessly been touring and making their mark as one of the most unique bands in doom metal today. Here is a band who has somewhat side-stepped some of the stereotypes associated with doom metal. Where DARK CASTLE effectively portray their vision not through elongated time-stretching songs, a characteristic synonymous with pretty much all doom metal bands, but through shorter, more punishing, yet dense and vitriolic songs that range from a wide array of influences (apart from traditional doom and sludge) that include influences that come from noise, exotic and Eastern-world influenced sounds, experimental music, drone, black metal, and prog respectively. With their latest album, “Surrender To All Life Beyond Form”, DARK CASTLE have finally managed to properly capture their live energy onto tape and on record. Produced and recorded by Sanford Parker in Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio, “Surrender To All Life Beyond Form” finally gives DARK CASTLE the proper production and sound they needed to achieve, again to bring that live energy onto record. One of the heaviest and most punishing albums to be released this year, “Surrender To All Life Beyond Form” also presents DARK CASTLE at their most experimental and at the same time, progressive. It also features guest appearances by Mike Schedit of YOB, Blake Judd of NACHTMYSTIUM, Nate Hall of US CHRISTMAS, and Sanford Parker himself. Nonetheless, “Surrender To All Life Beyond Form” is ultimately a dark, visceral, and punishing sonic exercise in self reflection.