Circle of Dead Children - Psalm of the Grand Destroyer
15 songs (31:47)
Release year: 2010
Official Myspace, Willowtip
Reviewed by Charles
Circle of Dead Children had not, I confess, entered my life even peripherally until the moment I found myself reviewing this album, and the fact that it was originally sent my way by a colleague with the words “I can’t be bothered to listen to any more grindcore” meant anticipation levels were somewhat stunted. I mean, it’s not as if I myself am to be perpetually found seeking out more and more grunting sub-two-minutes tirades of incontinent artsy rage, and recall that I was hoping to have a copy of the upcoming Mekong Delta to write about by now. Still, this band seems to have developed a bit of a reputation and come with lots of grind cool points attached (Scott Hull produces, and I loved the last Agoraphobic Nosebleed) and they have a pleasingly grim cover and logo. So let’s give it a go!

In fact, it’s as much death metal as grind. That particular balancing act is hardly a revolutionary fusion, arguably perfected many years ago by, say, Napalm Death, but this has hints of an eclecticism to it that actually makes it periodically quite a fun album, and certainly a distinctive one. It plays frequently on its ability to veer from threatening slow rumbles into frenetic blasting- particularly on the record’s more developed compositions. So on the unusually long (at over five minutes) penultimate tune Germinate the Reaper Seed, we open with a supremely ominous procession of trudging, churning guitar bowelscrapes. This is interrupted by a murkily soulful, almost post-black vamp accompanied by a blackened turn in the vocal delivery bringing to mind momentarily someone like Twilight. Interesting sounds; I’m not quite sure what purpose this really serves as a song, though. I prefer the more chaotic closer Starve, Beg and Die, with its furiously gurgling death metal riffs (with a dark and twisting Immolation-like character) that segue into typical grind ranting, surprisingly catchy snatched grooves and really blistering drumming.

The album is therefore bookended by 4-5 minute songs with its opener (the crunching fast-slow bile of Avatar of Innocence) and those final two numbers. For the most part things are kept shorter and simpler. As with all grind, its strength is its intensity, with its deep, deathly tone I suppose giving it an extra weight. Again, as with grind, it’s a bit like going through a chocolate box, with short moments of excitement making the rest of the battery- which quickly becomes monochrome- worthwhile. So, one highlight would be the excellent, ugly bowel-scraping grind of Refuse to Kill the Same Way Twice- though as the listener, really- take your pick. Overall, I find this a little unsubstantial, though it certainly has its moments.

Killing Songs :
Refuse to Kill the Same Way Twice, Starve, Beg and Die
Charles quoted 75 / 100
1 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 8 replies to this review. Last one on Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:40 pm
View and Post comments