Tonight is the Pulled Apart By Horses Xmas bash and the Leeds scene is out in force. Castrovalva have a sturdy and vocal following and singer Leemun Smith stands happily trading insults with the crowd. Any semblance of calm is soon shattered by the rumbling thunder of the bass. Leemun screeches and attempts to violate the amp like a dog on heat, backed by the melodramatic thrash of ‘Thuglife’. Drummer Daniel gets a soaking and water flashes off his cymbals as he thrashes around, stopping to make studied poses that distract and disturb the flow and thudding intensity of ‘We Don’t Go to Ravenholm’ but provide a welcome relief. Breaking out from the confines of the stage, Anthony stretches out on the floor, oblivious to the curious crowd gathered around him. Playing around with increasingly complicated riffs, he shows the bass guitar as an instrument capable of serious mind-melting skill.
Appealing to the harder metal contingent, ‘Triceratops’ piles on layers of dirty riffs with camp kitsch falsetto screaming. Clawing at the insides of your skull with rampant intent, Castrovalva blend equal parts of the sublime and the ridiculous. Strip away the vocals to the core of the band and that’s where the magic really begins.
By Kate Parkin
Originally published in issue 13 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. December 2009