Castaway - Over The Drowning Water

01. The Wanting Seed
02. Sanity Embraces
03. This-Integration
04. Wish You Could Save Me (Pt I Of Unfinished Dreams)
05. Castaway
06. A Different Place
07. Good-bye To All That
08. Letters In The Sand (Pt II Of Unfinished Dreams)
09. Dividing Lines

Melodic Heavy Metal
Slovak Republic
Amay productions, 2006
Contact: Matus Hanus, Zahradnicka 75, 821 08 Bratislava, Slovak Republic

I'll tell you straight away: Castaway is a name to remember. Their debut CD, Over The Drowning Water, is a great surprise. Don't be fooled, the Slovakian band did everything like true professionals, and this debut album is nothing like an extended demo or that sort of stuff we may expect from new bands.

First explanation to that: The members aren't newbies. For instance, Matus Hanus (guitars) and Andrej Kutis (keyboards) come from one of the most famous band in Slovak Republic: Galadriel. Not only they know how to play but also how to present their work; one of the first things to strike me was that the artwork of the album is excellent (done by Dodo Datel, Galadriel's singer and bassist). After that, I listened to the CD and here again, I was stricken by the quality of the production: excellent.

And now the music. What we got here is a sort of melodic heavy metal with a slightly dark atmosphere, the whole thing being quite easy to listen to - but don't worry, the compositions are not that simple! Not that far from prog metal actually. And despite sounding radio-friendly at times, the songs hold some interesting parts and melodies, most notably the vocals. Note that some choruses doesn't sound as "dark" as the music can seem to be.
I could lost myself in words, trying to tell you precisely how this whole album sounds, but a comparison just came to my mind and may save me: It's somewhat similar to Superior's Ultima Ratio. Castaway's sound (and production) is slightly richer, stronger, though.
Yet, the biggest problem is that all the songs on the album are more or less mid-paced and quite long (let's say "not short"). They all have some faster (and slower) moments, but the overall feeling I have when listening to Over The Drowning Water is that it's losing efficiency as time passes by.

Castaway was close to release something big. I mean, the album is great, there's no real weak point to it. My only request would be to make each song more unique compared to the others, and then the album would really be a killer.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


written by wrathchild | 14.01.2007


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Raziel X - 01.04.2008 at 14:02  
I think this album is excellent - yes, there arent faster pieces, and that might have been the reason I couldnt appreciate it before. And to the genre, I think that this is definitely prog stuff, and not very easy to access. The songs are great, they just require really many listens till you really dig them
IMO the production could be a bit better... And one more thing - I like this much more than lets say Circus Maximus. They are destined to be legends sometime in the future, but if Castaway had such good conditions (label, production...) as e.g. CM has, they would outpiss them by miles. CM are great too, but till they dont release sth really kickass, miles away from DT influence, they IMO have to bow down to these Slovak guys
Stalker - 23.05.2010 at 01:52  
Got this album from my friend about a year ago, but didnt actually listen to it until now. And now when I did, I really grew to like it. And I pretty much agree with the review, if only the songs very a bit more diverse and memorable so o say, it would be even awesomer

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