Callenish Circle - _Flesh_Power_Dominion_
(Metal Blade, 2002)
by: David Rocher (8 out of 10)
Dutch quintet Callenish Circle's musical history is just slightly untypical -- initially spreading their name with a doom-laden death metal release (_Drift of Empathy_) which was somewhat reminiscent of the sadly disbanded Caustic's _Moments in the Infinite_ MCD, Callenish Circle have since evolved in time to embrace the tones of the renowned "Gothenburg Institute of Death Metal". Their third full-length release, _Flesh_Power_Dominion_, perfectly fits in with this evolution, yet somehow leaves some very noticeable flaws open to criticism. Although Callenish Circle's great songwriting is, on the whole, as efficient as it is technical, some typically Swedish riffs just tend to float over the top, and indulge in excessively melodic dirges which turn out to be more annoyingly notey than they can claim to be really catchy. This tendency unfortunately deprives some parts of _F_P_D_'s tracks of much of the power they deserve, a flaw which is sadly at times acutely reinforced by the excessively thin, rasping vocals. On the other hand, Callenish Circle do have their moments of truly powerful genius, when they focus on powerful low-end aggression or a less Scandinavian-sounding approach, as they do on tracks such as the potent "Take Me Along", or the beautifully touching "Bleeding". As the excellent cover of Death's classic "Pull the Plug" clearly testifies to, Callenish Circle display technical abilities which are sufficient by far, and an intriguing, unusual approach to their death metal -- however, these riffing Dutchmen still at times seem to be searching for a musical style they are one hundred percent comfortable with; and although _Flesh_Power_Dominion_ does display some flaws (which are made all the more apparent owing to its generally high quality), Callenish Circle are becoming a force to be reckoned with. I can now only hope that the sequel to their 2002 effort shall comfort me in my great expectations for them -- with their songwriting abilities so clearly displayed, their next release can't decently afford to fall anything short of sheer brilliance!

(article published 12/4/2002)


ALBUMS
10/31/2005 J Smit 8.5 Callenish Circle - Pitch.Black.Effects
9/1/1998 P Schwarz 7 Callenish Circle - Escape
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