Circle of Silence - The Rise of Resistance
Massacre Records
Heavy Metal / Power Metal
12 songs (50' 25")
Release year: 2013
Massacre Records
Reviewed by Andy

Though Circle of Silence is billed as power metal, and has a few things in common with the genre, you'd best not expect any lilting symphonic elements, high-pitched vocals, or positive, uplifting lyrics. The Rise of Resistance, their latest, is the very opposite: Dark, angry, and spare, with harsh vocals and a strong speed-metal influence. Despite that, the album boasts melodic hooks big enough to hang a carcass from, and clean vocals -- so whether one likes power metal or more traditional stuff, this feels like a great crossover album.

Blood of Enemies pretty much tells you that this is by no means "happy" power metal -- in addition to the title, it starts off slowly and slightly ominously -- and right away vocalist Niklas Keim reveals a gritty, uncompromising voice that has more of a heavy metal sound to it. It's not bombastic at all, more like Dirk Thurisch of Angel Dust than other power metal vocalists I've heard, but it has a fierceness and edge to it, and he sings like he means it. The next two tracks have a modernized speed metal sound, powered by guitarists Tobias Pfahl and Christian Sommerfeld, that is truly nice to hear, especially on the reverberating chorus, especially with the excellent hooks. The drumming is clear power metal and is well mixed with the guitar/bass combo, and while the guitar leads aren't brilliant, they are worthwhile and go well with the reliable rhythm work.

My favorite of the lot is One Moment of Hate. It's fast-paced and choppy, going perfectly with the grim lyrics, and the way Keim grates out "I can't beleev...what I hev don to youuu..." on the chorus, in his German-accented vocals, to the double-kick drumming, had me hooked. The following track, An Oncoming Storm, is faster and shows off the band's two-guitar attack. This one has a lot of thrash elements and a screeching, harmonic-filled solo. The next few continue the set of heavy tracks, though We Rise trends a little bit more towards power metal than the others with its dramatic chorus. It's followed by The Final Chapter and Slave to the Greed Machine, which make up for the brief foray into power metal by being even grittier and harsher than before.

Reborn From Darkness is another standout that I really enjoyed. It feels like a true anthem with its fist-pumping chorus, a mid-tempo avalanche of angry defiance that definitely made me feel a hell of a lot better after my day at the office. The final track is the one slow, soft song on the album, calming the listener down perhaps after all the previous heaviness. This one is gentle but still solid -- one can tell that the band is ready any time to crush the listener, but is holding itself back, but while the lyrics sound comforting at first, one soon discovers that they have a dark double meaning...and of course, the song takes a heavier turn by and by.

I hadn't listened to any Circle of Silence before reviewing this one, but The Rise of Resistance was far superior to my expectations and is sure to get some more spins in my collection. Anybody who enjoys the harsher side of power metal, or just like their heavy metal somewhat traditional, shouldn't pass this one up.

Killing Songs :
Eyes of Anarchy, One Moment of Hate, The Final Chapter, Reborn From Darkness, The Architect of Immortality
Andy quoted 88 / 100
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