Release DetailsLABEL Gomek Records
RELEASED ON 7/10/2006
Circle of Darkness
posted on 8/2006 By:
When melodic death metal started to rise up over in Europe over a decade ago it took the metal scene by storm fusing together Maiden/Priest-like riffs and licks with crushing death styled vocals. Everyone seemed eager to jump on the bandwagon as metal fans were eating it up like candy and aspiring metal musicians were racing to incorporate this new and refreshing sound into their own music. As a result we now have thousands of bands all over the world looking to flood the scene with this “brute meets pretty” style making it extremely difficult for fans of this music to come across an album that stands out and fulfills their lust for a quality product. It’s quite possible that many of you may have to wait a bit longer if you can’t get past the production on this recording, which is borderline atrocious. But if fans of this style are able to stomach the prod on this slab of melodeath they're sure to enjoy what Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Caliga offer up to the metal faithful.
As noted above the production on this album, entitled Circle of Darkness, is so awful I just can’t imagine how someone could have let a travesty such as this take place. Releasing this product in its current condition onto the metal scene was a grave mistake in my opinion and might be costly for the band’s future. Yes, they are signed to a label, but what in the hell does that mean in this day and age? Anyone who thinks they know what good music is supposed to sound like can start up their own label these days. I don’t really know the ins and outs of the label this band is on and frankly I could care less, but it is evident that someone here, whether it be the label or the band, was in too much of a hurry to get a recording out into the field.
With most of my griping out of the way I can say that the music on Circle of Darkness is enjoyable and it’s unmistakable that this group of five has a great musical connection amongst them. I read on their web site that they worked their tails off for six months straight with consistent practicing and songwriting to bring these songs to fruition, which is exactly what it takes. And it’s apparent that the hard work put forth by the group has paid off, at least musically. With the prod being as shoddy as it is it’s hard to gauge the full capability of this singer, but he seems to have great range with various growling techniques in his repertoire which can be hard to find in any vocalist who growls for a living. There are a couple of spots in the album where some clean vocals are incorporated and I strongly discourage this as they just seem way out of place. Most of the heavy singing throughout these songs is promising enough as is to go and ruin it with clean vocals of any sort. The riffs are brutal to a certain extent with plenty of melodic hook in place to make this formula work, and it works well. The drummer is kept busy trying to keep up with the convoluted riffs at hand, and he does his job with unrelenting fury.
When all is said and done I’m fairly certain we’ll be hearing more from Caliga in the years to come, but for the band’s sake I hope they step up the production on their next release. My score for the prod alone may seem a bit abrasive, but in this day in age there is absolutely no acceptable reason for it to be that low. If this band can take their time next time around and do things the right way, I’m confident they can make a name for themselves. I personally would love to see this shit live because I'm sure I'd have a damn good time. Furthermore I'd love to hear all of these songs re-recorded the right way because I think they’re that good. Just my take...
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