Callenish Circle

Pitch Black Effects

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Dutch progressive metal quartet Callenish Circle's follow-up to 2003's searing My Passion Your Pain keeps up the momentum they've been building since signing with Metal Blade in 2002. Often lumped in with the Scandinavian death metal scene, the band has more in common with Western European industrial metal outfits like Nitzer Ebb and Rammstein than they do Opeth, but the techno-riddled onslaught that awaits listeners on Pitch Black Effects is steeped enough in classic metal imagery (death, fate, loss, grief) to please both purists and gas-mask-wearing nihilists alike. Callenish Circle is at its best when the sirens are on and the pedal is buried, and while the sequencers and samples provided by producer/keyboardist Gail Liebling (Gail of God) keep things interesting, it's the straight-ahead thrash of standout tracks like "Behind Lines" and "Sweet Cyanide" that will keep the foreheads slamming against the doors.

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