Release DetailsLABEL Total Holocaust Records
RELEASED ON 1/27/2005
The Distant Wind
posted on 5/2005 By:
For some reason, the first association that leapt to mind when perusing the cover art and booklet of this disc was Judas Iscariot. The script and layout of the cover absolutely SCREAMS Distant In Solitary Night, like a zoomed-out bird’s eye pan of the two pilgrims on the Judas Iscariot cover galloping through the terrain of Of Great Eternity. Bizarrely, this appears to be far more than a mere coincidence, as the parallels between Black Circle and Akhenaten’s defunct brainchild go significantly beyond cosmetic appearances. The material here is impossibly harsh, vile and venomous black metal with an anguished desperation highly reminiscent of earlier Judas Iscariot (which itself was to some degree derivative of Transylvanian Hunger).
How well you receive this material will largely hinge on how much you enjoy droning, frosty and repetitious black metal that utilizes guitars not as a means to construct coherent riffs, but as a tool to erect impenetrable veils of swirling, oppressive noise. This is black metal in its most orthodox (second wave) form, placing primary emphasis on frostbitten, unearthly atmosphere instead of creating individually distinct songs and riffs. Chord progressions are highly minimalistic and rhythms are fervently repetitious, with several elaborate downtempo sections that recall the more despondent moments on Thy Dying Light and Of Great Eternity. To be fair, to the untrained ear much of the material on offer here might be interpreted as simplistic, monochromatic noise, dwelling on a range of five chords for 9 minute songs. Of course, such an assertion would be rather presumptuous - Black Circle demands an immersive and attentive listen in order to unfurl the labyrinthine, trancelike structures and to find beauty within the unforgivingly sparse soundscapes on offer.
While some may contend that Black Circle are little more than bland copyists peddling a concerted facsimile of Judas Iscariot and Darkthrone works (have a listen to the passage 4 minutes through “…And Only The Wind Wept Its Mournful Cry” and you may share such an assertion, as it appears lifted entirely from Under A Funeral Moon), the record remains a convincingly morose endeavor in vehement orthodoxy that manages, to a considerable extent, to reopen a vein once pricked by Fenriz and further drained by Andrew Harris. It will seem a little too studied for some (myself included), but for the most part The Distant Wind… exudes a naked, unpretentious spontaneity that is certainly laudable. For discerning enthusiasts of the post-Transylvanian Hunger sound, there is much that The Distant Wind… can offer you, though to those searching for something a little less blatantly referential and less dated, this is perhaps not a necessary purchase.
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