CALLENISH CIRCLE already had been formed in 1992, but only in 1994 they gained momentum, while trying to find the right line up for a really darn good Death Metal band. At first they played cover songs of their favourite bands DEATH, PESTILENCE, BOLT THROWER and (old) PARADISE LOST. But then they started to write their own songs and in 1995 they entered the studio to record their first demo "Lovelorn". Dutch label Hammerheart discovered the talent of the band and signed them.
The debut "Drift Of Empathy" contained great material, but did not sell too well, so that CALLENISH CIRCLE was dropped again. After that followed the mini CD "Escape" on the tiny label Polarbear, who, though, did not have the financial resources to finance a full album. DSF Records then released the long player "Graceful...Yet Forbidding", but only in the Benelux countries. So Edgerunner from Norway took care of placing this album also in regular shops abroad. As bonus it also contained the "Escape"-mini. Next Metal Blade signed the band for four albums, worldwide. The album "Flesh_Power_Dominion" had been their first there, but I unfortunately do not know it. So I was even more surprised when I heard the latest output of CALLENISH CIRCLE: They are a lot faster, straighter and also better.
In best AT THE GATES manner opener "Soul Messiah" sweeps through my living room and apart from the super tight play of the band, the great, fat sound is convincing from the spot - yes, this way the deadly hymns of the Dutchmen are fun. They also added a good bit of Thrash, no way to deny that. Especially "Forsaken" thunders out of the speakers so powerfully that I start to fear for my neck vertebrae. Sounds quite Swedish, but is damn great! "What Could Have Been…" is a mean mid tempo breaker that also could have stood on GOD DETHRONED's last one. Or "My Hate Unfolds", a hammer of the best kind. Also rather mid tempoed, with menacing riffing and a unique atmosphere.
So fast tracks go hand in hand with rather brutal, but always melodic songs. That the Netherlands always have had great Death Metal acts I had known for a while now. After the death of GOREFEST & PESTILENCE CALLENISH CIRCLE now will fight with GOD DETHRONED for the crown. (Online April 16, 2003)