CALLENISH CIRCLE – Forbidden Empathy - Candlelight 2005
DISC 1 1.No Reason 2.Forgotten 3.Inner Battle (Intro) 4.Beyond 5.Broken 6.Oppressed Natives 7.Silent Tears 8.Passionate Dance (Intro) 9.Caught By Deceit 10.Shadows Of The Past 11.Alone (Outro) 12.Silent Tears 13.Epacase 14.Broken 15.Mirror Of Serenity DISC 2 1.Inner Sense 2.Mental Affection 3.Slough Of Despond 4.Solitude 5.Last Words 6.The Dreamers Path 7.Disguised Ignorance 8.Where The Moon Meets The Sea 9.Scars 10.Slough Of Despond 11.Disguised Ignorance 12.Lovelorn 13.Shadows 14.The Dreamers Path
Dutch metal pioneers CALLENISH CIRCLE have always set themselves apart in the melodic death metal scene, primarily because they were a major force behind it. Candlelight records brings us a closer look to the beginnings of this band. Contained in this 2CD set are 2 full length albums, a MCD and early demo material that has not been domestically released in the US till now. Once signing with Metal Blade the band began to get its deserved recognition and support they needed.
Disc 1 has the full length album “Graceful…Yet Forbidding” and the “Escape” EP. The EP picks up where the band left off with “Drift Of Empathy”. ‘Silent Tears’ and ‘Broken’ show the growth that was to come on the following album “Graceful…Yet Forbidding” and how they have become to master both the brutal and the melodic elements. “Graceful…Yet Forbidding” is probably the best of their young career. The entire band seems to gel which is a good thing since there are three more musicians contributing on this release than the previous. Highlights include lead off track ‘No Reason’ and a shorter version of ‘Broken’ from the EP. ‘Silent Tears’ is shear brilliance thanks to some great riffing and vocal performances. The vocals of Henri Sattler (God Dethroned) and Patrick Savelkoul create some of the best dueling style vocals you will ever hear. Comparisons could be drawn to PARADISE LOST when they began to incorporate more melody, like a blending of “Gothic” and “Shades Of God”. From Beginning to end “Graceful…Yet Forbidding” never disappoints.
Disc 2 includes the phenomenal “Drift Of Empathy” and the only demo they made “Lovelorn”. The demo material here is great quality and has the early stages of the melodic death styles they would create and become know for. Three of these songs would be improved upon and make the debut album “Drift Of Empathy”. Tracks such as ‘Slough Of Despond’ and ‘Solitude’ show the greatness that is CALLENISH CIRCLE. ‘Where The Moon Meets The Sea’ is probably one of the best songs ever written by the band with a great forging of death and melodic components. While songs like ‘Inner Sense’ and ‘The Dreamers Path’ attack you with vicious brutality.
Not re-mastering these tracks was a good and bad idea. I would have liked to hear these cleaned up with a crisp sound just to hear the impact it may have had. Keeping them in the original context gives you a better atmosphere and makes the music more agressive. Maybe down the road we can get some rerecorded tracks or re-mastered versions. One other change I would recommend to this set would be to change the running order and make it chronological. There is a lot of development and maturing between the 2 full length albums that I feel the listener misses out on because of the reverse order. If you want to get a feel for a bands natural progression into greatness start with the demos and work backwards.
Do not be deceived by the word ‘Melodic’ here because this band is very heavy. If you like old school death metal with melodic elements (I don’t mean just keyboards either) this CD is a must have. If you have missed these gems the first time around, now is your chance to own a true piece of music history from a band that helped pave the way for modern melodic death. CALLENISH CIRCLE have continued on with 3 releases after the material here. While lessening the melodic elements some they have become one of the best bands in the death metal scene today.
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