Release DetailsLABEL Crash Music
RELEASED ON 6/16/2006
The Art of Agony
posted on 10/2006 By:
Vicious Circle is an East Coast act that has been releasing a slow and steady drip of material for almost two decades. A few demos came out starting in 1989, a full-length in 1993, a couple more EPs in the mid-late 90’s, and now this full-length which is a re-release of their 2004 album. This may be another one of those older thrash bands that are reuniting all of a sudden, however this album is legitimately good.
Three of the original four members are still together, with only the addition of a new vocalist, Darrell, who has a very suitable voice for death/thrash. His pipes are gravelly, always on the edge of molting into a scream. Modern production adds a sharp edge to their sound with a piercing death metal guitar tone. The drumming is rock-solid thrash percussion with the double-bass pounding here and there. Lastly we come to the bass guitar, which provides a thick punch, but is pretty hard to make out detail. The overall vibe is that of an old-school thrash act that has successfully updated their sound for the modern age, without losing touch with their roots.
“Neurotic Reminders” starts off the album with a dissonant passage of extreme tremolo picking until the rhythm section shows up to add some serious heft. This song is a little spastic, but never wears out its welcome. “I Remain in Filth” doodles around in the hard rock world for awhile before donning the metal boots. “Triple Murder, Suicide” is more my speed, and by that I mean fast. For some reason I find Dave’s drumming very effective at notching up the intensity when they hit a really heavy piece.
But this isn’t a 6-6-6 album so there must be some criticism, and there is. While intense, I find that a lot of their transitions feel disjointed and sometimes random – as if the songs are composed of a lot of strong riffs assembled haphazardly. However, that doesn’t detract much from my enjoyment of The Art of Agony. For a more classic death/thrash experience than you’d find on a Dew-Scented album, Vicious Circle does an admirable job. Hopefully they’ll ramp up the output, and not keep us waiting another decade for an LP.
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