Dark Castle's set at Scion Rock Fest was spiritual. I don't say that lightly, as I don't consider myself a spiritual person. But a presence was in the air that wasn't there before. It didn't come from the crowd, which was sedate but for some obnoxious moshers. It came from electricity, metal, wood, hair, and the voices of Stevie Floyd and Rob Shaffer. The push and pull between her guitar and his drums was palpable. Of the dozens of shows I attend each year, few have this totality of energy. I didn't hear separate instruments so much as a single soul.

One of the set's highlights was "Seeing Through Time". You can stream it below. It's from Dark Castle's new album Surrender to All Life Beyond Form, out May 17 on Profound Lore. Its cover and a nice interview with Floyd are visible here. Floyd has become one of the most expressive guitarists in metal today. The Scion Rock Fest set featured shivering chorus, audible in "Seeing Through Time", and octave pedal interjections that made Floyd's guitar scream. Those, combined with Floyd's "greasy" playing, made for a refreshing alternative to today's dime-a-dozen shredders. It's rare that a guitar sounds like it's truly speaking.

— Cosmo Lee

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