August 18, 2017

Magic Circle - Magic Circle (2013)


Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Doom Metal
Style: Traditional Doom
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© 2013 Armageddon Shop
Review by theobelisk.net
After earning some measure of viral doomly acclaim by releasing their debut single on YouTube,
Boston-based five-piece Magic Circle issue their first proper full-length on CD through Armageddon Shop’s eponymous in-house label. The self-titled offering contains the two songs that made such a digital splash – those being “Scream Evil” and closer “The Magic Circle/Cloven in Two” – as well as four other cuts, topping out at a vinyl-ready 41:16. Vinyl also seems to be on the band’s mind in terms of the album’s structure, which finds the tracklisting split at its halfway point with each set of three songs ended by a longer, slash-inclusive title, the first being “The Greatest Escape/White Shores” (7:10) and the second the already-noted finale (7:40). Similarly, each side begins with a track on which frontman Brendan Radigan sings over a guitar solo, the opener “Winter Light” and “Scream Evil.” Those aren’t the only times Radigan does that, there’s also second track “Rapture” where it’s notable, but the chaotic swirl it creates – particularly late into “Winter Light” – is a standout element. Radigan comes out of Boston’s hardcore scene, namely the bands Mind Eraser and The Rival Mob, and Magic Circle’s drummer, Q, is also of Clouds and Doomriders, while guitarist/principle songwriter Chris Corry and bassist Justin De Tore can be found in Death Evocation (the latter is also formerly of NYC grinders Taste of Fear). The band is completed by guitarist Dan Ducas, but particularly because of Radigan’s pedigree, I have a hard time not likening Magic Circle’s debut to that of Brooklyn-based Maple Forum alums, Kings Destroy. Indeed, the album bears some of that out in stylistic commonality with Kings Destroy’s And the Rest Will Surely Perish, though Magic Circle’s Magic Circle delves further into genre with an affinity for Ducas and Corry’s guitars crossing over the line where trad doom meets NWOBHM; call it a Witchfinder General or Pagan Altar influence if you want, I don’t think I’d be the first to saddle them with either. Still, with a somewhat similar circumstance and aesthetic, the comparison to Kings Destroy circa 2010 seems fair. Radigan’s vocals add a drama that enhances the musical dynamic, and the band locks in familiar grooves that they’re nonetheless able to make their own. In the end, perhaps in part because I’m so used to traditional doom that plods eternal, Magic Circle feels short at its 41-minute stopping point. --- Read the full review at theobelisk.net

tags: magic circle, magic circle album, band, 2013, flac,

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