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Vicious Circle – Unearthed Precision Award winner

Vicious Circle
Unearthed Precision
by Leanne "Metal Maiden" Evans at 09 December 2022, 3:54 PM

It’s fair to say that VICIOUS CIRCLE are veterans of the metal scene. New Jersey’s very own worship to all things loud, extreme, and bloody, VICIOUS CIRCLE have been hell bound since their inception in 1989 with their blistering eponymous demo, quickly gaining them legions of fans. The guys equally caught the attention of some metallic God-tier acts – testament to their uncompromising ability to shake foundations with their pissed off noise - and played alongside an impressive roster of bands, including the likes of DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, DRI, CANNIBAL CORPSE, BOLT THROWER, OBITUARY, OVERKILL, and NUCLEAR ASSAULT: it doesn’t take an ardent thrasher or a death metal fanatic to release that the big boys don’t invite just anyone to the party.

With multiple releases under their belts – five demos, two full-lengths, one compilation, and two EP’s to be exact - VICIOUS CIRCLE’s sonic savagery has become legendary, and their melting pot of influence and knack for delivering caustic brutality has served the metal community well. “Unearthed Precision” was released back in 2020, but let’s be real about things, the opportunity for any band to promote its work back then was near-on impossible, so a little extra exposure now the world is fully operational once more is gratefully received. Without further ado, let’s dig in to this brutal four-track wonder…

The first thing that’s going to smack you square in the kisser and bloody your mouth in the opening track, “Killing Culture” is the dizzying swarm of blasts and frantic riffing. The track itself is an incredibly accurate overview of the band’s audial identity: violently aggressive, unshakably resolute, with infectious moreish malevolence. From the outset, you feel the thrill of VICIOUS CIRCLE’s pernicious charm of blending brutal, technical thrash with huge death overtones and smatters of groove, culminating in a mammoth conduit of extreme pandemonium. Exaggerated temporal switches express the bands fearless attempt to unsettle and break the listener down (it’s a bloody delight!), with “Fear Everything” taking another gutsy leap into technically blistering territory.

The ability to condense elements of early SEPULTURA, SLAYER, POSSESSED and EXHORDER and still create an incredibly organic sound is one of the strengths that VICIOUS CIRCLE play on. The bludgeoning fury of “Fear Everything” offers the kind of groove-infused drums Igor Cavalera would approve, whilst the ferocity and full steam ahead approach of DiBianca’s riffing and solos would have Dimebag in awe. The incendiary and tight rhythm section, coupled with Cook’s brutally unyielding vocals take the scathing blend of death and thrash to the next level. Take “The Pain is the Salvation”, jammed with old school death metal-style bone-breaking minor riffing, yet it’s backboned by a thrashier drum rhythm, or “Since Oblivion” with its crushing blasts and waywardly chaotic guitar. The consistent vocal onslaught within both tracks will equally pique your interest as Cook discharges a mass of aggression - flouting any rules or respect for vocal cords – and slices through with his barbarously powerful tones.

VICIOUS CIRCLE has yet again shown that rabidity is still at the core of its creations, and ferocity is its beating heart. If you want something punishing, face-melting, and utterly crushing, you’ll love “Unearthed Precision”.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Killing Culture
2. Fear Everything
3. The Pain is the Salvation
4. Since Oblivion
Brian Cook – Vocals
Vinny DiBianca – Guitars
Dave Surran – Drums
Mel Leach - Bass
Record Label: SubLevel Records


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