Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Ominous Circle - "Appaling Ascension" (Osmose Productions, 2017)

Band: The Ominous Circle
Title: Appaling Ascension
Genre: Death/Doom metal
Year: 27th January 2017
Time: 51 min
Rating: 90/100

For the 4th consecutive review, Portugal continues to be the protagonist on these raw pages! But this time we'll not talk about a black metal band, although about a young death metal quintet with the veiled faces: The Ominous Circle. Emerged from the most impenetrable darkness during 2014, The Ominous Circle, evidently, have completely skipped the classic demo phase to spew directly forth their debut album "Appaling Ascension", released only 2 days ago through the strong French label Osmose Productions. And let me say already that this is a very terrific album produced by a band with a lot to express!

In fact, The Ominous Circle plays a kind of dark and advanced death/doom metal able to mix the putridity of the old-school death metal with more modern solutions like dissonant riffs or some guitar techniques common to  less traditionalist metal bands as Gojira (like in "A Gray Outcast") while there are also some majestic black metal influences (as in "From Endless Chasms", for example). But all this is wisely combined so to create  dynamic and inventive songs with the rare merit to be, at the same time, oppressive and, indeed, majestic.

The aura of oppression given by The Ominius Circle comes surely from their tendency to torture the listeners with a bunch of slow...slower tempos, especially in songs like "Poison Fumes" while "A Grey Outcast" reaches even funeral doom peaks. But, obviously, the band hit wildly when it needs through blowing (ultra)-fast tempos, thanks also to a tentacular drummer able to create even very refined and particular patterns.

Instead, the majestic feeling on the music of the band comes from very long songs ranging from the 6 minutes of "To en" to the 10 minutes of "Consecrating His Mark", that is one of those tours de force that I love to listen to because I am very curious about their unpredictable dynamics. Hence, we are talking about well-structured songs that explodes often through devastating climaxes with uncontrollable guitar solos, after suffocating you into immense horrors showing also an excellent interaction with apocalyptic riffs between the two axes. Among all these monumental tracks, you can take a breath only with the short instrumental intermezzo "Ateg Gibor Le-olam Adonai" (all dominated by freezing arpeggios), without forgetting the menacing intro "Heart Girt with a Serpent" (also if it is a bit rambling during its static 4 minutes of lenght) through you can taste the abyssal growls, alternated with rare screams, of the singer.
In summary, "Appaling Ascension" is one of those debuts able to have an impact on the listeners. I said this also because the technical skills are excellent while the enough clean production of "Appaling Ascension" is very far from the cavernous standards now classic for many extreme metal albums. So, we are in presence of a death/doom metal that combines, in my opinion, the carnality of Incantation, the darkness of Temple Nightside and the absorbing madness of Portal into a unique, "appaling" and lethal solution. So, let you absorb by the dark art of The Ominous Circle and say farewell to your souls!


1 - Heart Girt with a Serpent
2 - From Endless Chasms
3 - Poison Fumes
4 - Ateg Gibor Le-olam Adonai
5 - A Gray Outcast
6 - To En
7 - As the Worm Descends
8 - Consecrating His Mark


S.L. - vocals
A.C. - guitars
M.S. - guitars
Z.P. - bass
M.A. - drums

Osmose Productions:
8 -

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