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Label: Satanath Records/The Ritual Productions / Release date: 22nd April 2022
Circle of Chaos is another death metal five-piece crew from the neighbouring Stockholm, Sweden. The band, which consists of; Jimmy Lundberg (Guitars), Mark Negro Villa (Drums), HG Hogström (Guitars), Maël Nagot (Bass) & Per Kolderup Finstad (Vocals), has been around since 2008. They’ve co-released their 12-tracker second full-length entitled Forlorn Reign almost a year ago now (2022) via Satanath Records and The Ritual Productions.
Melodic death metal & Sweden, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing really; as Forlorn Reign with its old-school approach and melodic elements is a listenable pleasure from start to finish. Yet, unlike many of their countrymen Circle of Chaos present us with a more thrash-inspired sound, where they sacrify some melody in order to get more aggression and brutality, while obviously still having this small touch of melody too (mostly when playing solos). Thus, to times one can hear a few moments of slower shredding, while other times it’s brutal and aggressive straight-forward & fast sonic assault. All 12 tracks are in most cases short, but very direct, honest and straight-forward. I esp. enjoyed the somehow haunting dual guitar work, which are really perfectly done, best exemplified in my album favourite, the second track, a self-titled “Forlorn Reign”. Song-writing & a general structure of the songs is very clear and well-thought, so you’ll hear no complaints from me on that matter.
Production is top-notch, at least when we’re talking of this kind of a genre, where it feels that all instruments & vocals have their natural place, and where all five musicians are giving 110% of their sklls and abilities. The record was mixed and mastered by Jari Lindholm, and features this, for the genre, very representative cover art done by ‘JRMR Artworks’.
You’ll not find many variations and diversity on this opus, but it’s still well-executed album with sonic instrument attacks, brutal vocals, serious shredding and just some occasional strokes of melody! The only minor problem is the length of the album, or should I say the number of the tracks included on the album – 12 tracks with album duration of app. 50 minutes can feel too much.
Although they don’t bring anything groundbreaking nor completey new, I still consider Forlorn Reign as being an efficient, focused and almost perfectly executed death metal album, that will make all fans who’re having an appetite for good Swedish melo-death/thrash metal, very satisfied. Esp. recommended for those who dig bands such as Entombed, At The Gates, Grave, In Flames etc.
To get a further idea what this band is about, watch the video from a song called “Purgatory” below. If you want to know more about this particular album then visit https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat346-circle-of-chaos-forlorn-reign-2022