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The Circle – Metamorphosis Award winner

The Circle
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 19 June 2021, 7:44 AM

"Metamorphosis" is a concept album comprising four tracks with a total playing time of 28 minutes. The concept is based on changes a person is going through and human reactions to setbacks like betrayal, separation or death. The story shows how humans deal with life's challenges, what feelings they develop and what phases they live through to get over everything. In order to show how people grow as individuals under such circumstances, every song presents a separate chapter that reflects a specific phase (Fear, Despair, Wrath, Salvation). The initial idea is to make a music video for each track to create a kind of a short four-chapter movie. The album contains four tracks.

“Chapter I: Angst” leads off the album. It begins with a brutal aggressiveness and a slow, grinding pace. The vocals are vile utterances of hatred. The clean vocals and guitar solo are a bit of a nice surprise. “Chapter II: Verzweilflung” opens with a mid-tempo pace and some galloping drums. Again, the clean vocals are very well done here, with soft, gentle harmonies, tempering the heaviness of the song. The background ambiance adds an element of mystery to the song, as does the spoken words. It builds to a frenzied crescendo towards the end.

“Chapter III: Zorn” begins with a full sound…a wall of guitars along with some thunderous drumming. Lead guitar notes build over this bed of angry notes. The harsh vocals are again quite harrowing, while the cleans leave you with a sense of longing. “Chapter IV: Erlösung” closes the four-track album. It opens with a sad feeling from the guitars, and a sense of hopelessness. Harsh vocals cut through and drive the sadness home. An ambient passage comes in around the half-way mark, followed by more harsh tones. It waxes and wanes several times throughout, ending with the final chorus, with strings, in all its glory.

Overall, this was an outstanding album. It’s a good mix of aggressiveness along with some melancholy tones, and the varying vocal style is a nice change of pace. In this sense, I am reminded of SWALLOW THE SUN. They also have a strong sense of songwriting, and let the compositions be the centerpiece of the album. It also has a Doomy feeling. I have no doubt that fans of Extreme Metal will find this album to their liking.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Chapter I
2. Chapter II: Verzweiflung
3. Chapter III: Zorn
4. Chapter IV: Erlösung
Stanley Robertson – Composer, Guitarist
Alex Wirt – Bass, Visual Design
Asim Searah – Session Vocalist
Record Label: Independent


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