Thanatos – Violent Death Rituals5th June 2020
Bait – Revelation of the Pure12th June 2020
Label: Les Acteurs de l'Ombre / Release Date: 8th May 2020
Grave Circles is a Ukranian Black Metal band with four consecutive years under its belt. In that time, they have so far released an EP entitled Tome I and, last month, their first Full-length album, unsurprisingly named Tome II. Now, I had sadly never even heard of this Ukranian quartet prior to receiving this album, but after blowing through the seven tracks several times in a row, I can quickly conclude that this is a situation that will have to be remedied.
Aside from being a very talented modern Black Metal act, I also find myself drawn to their overall methodology – While their lyrical themes revolving around satanism, the inevitability of death and decay of human society is nothing new within the genre, the efficient and almost simplistic approach the band has taken (both musically, lyrically and aestethically, the latter of which their logo and the cover art of this album attest to) really struck a chord with me.
Probably the biggest praise I can give Tome II is the fact that, as I mentioned above, I hammered my way through it and almost immediately afterwards had the desire to replay it again – So I did. Not only because it gives me more material to work with while writing one of these, but also because I genuinely wanted to give it another round. Now, for people looking for a new spin on the genre or something completely new and original, Grave Circles is not the place to go – They know what type of music they want to make, and they are damn talented at doing it. That being said, they are by no means a mere copy-and-paste version of other, more famous bands. Grave Circles manages to create music that sounds and feels unique (as all bands should, in my opinion), meaning that you would be able to recognize the band on their sound alone, if familiar enough with the band – Something I have no doubt that I personally will end up becoming.
Tome II consists of nearly forty-three minutes divided somewhat evenly among the seven before-mentioned tracks (with ”Faith That Fades” being a notable exception) and is a release that I would recommend to fans of both Malevolentia and Au-Dessus.
Below the album can be streamed in its entirety.