Review Summary: After 3 years since their debut LP, Circle Of Contempt come back strong with another relentless, dynamic release.
The year of 2009 saw a new Sumerian Records band arise from the cold lands of Finland. Embracing a very technical brand of Metal, Artifacts In Motion
was fast, intriguing and downright amazing. It was something unlike I had ever heard (and quite honestly, it still is). The album took its’ time to sink in, mainly due to the odd tempos and blatantly weird rhythms, but was well worth it when it did. Upon the release of Entwine The Threads
one would logically expect more of the same chaotic and relentless Technical Deathcore; case made that Risto-Matti Toivonen (the band’s main songwriter) is still around doing his thing. 2009 Circle Of Contempt is there, there’s no mistaking it. Yet and still, COC’s new effort plays slightly safer and shows a bigger focus in melodic/groovy elements quite often, and the almost constant use of synth has most of that part covered and assured – Something that makes Entwine The Threads
the band’s most accessible release to date.
There’s never enough stating when it comes to the fact that Circle Of Contempt are a talented young bunch. It seems that they have grown some kind of allergy to minimalism. Entwine The Threads
comes as complex and diverse as we could expect anything to ever come from these guys by now and Risto-Matti may as well be considered one of the biggest masterminds in modern Metal today. Besides having a more Djenty feel to them, the guitars remain a challenge to follow. Intricate riffs that fit the even more intricate tempos, fast breakdowns, and quite often, some well delivered solos. The homonym track and Perceive The Mendacity
hold some of the best examples of catchy/skilled interventions from the guitars. And don’t get me started on how good Transient Belief
sounds throughout. That’s pretty much the only track I could see fit of belonging to AiM
, not for its’ quality (which is a constant in the whole EP), but for the way it sounds and feels overall; it's a high quality display of melodic riffs from the guitars, reminiscent of what the band has achieved in a few tracks from their previous album. But there’s much more involved; in addition to the guitars threading like mighty beasts, so do the drums, which stand as the true highlight of the album when it comes to individual effort. JP’s drumming remains some of the most precise and complex I’ve ever come across, most probably because like the rest of the band, he also has that allergy to minimalism. If on Artifacts In Motion
he didn’t spare his hits, he surely didn’t spare any hits here either. I wouldn’t be doing much pointing out some of the drum’s best inputs, they slay throughout the whole album. Unfortunately, the bass that once remained an essential presence to the band’s sound is pretty much asleep throughout Entwine The Threads
. It’s still there, but only this time it doesn’t go beyond keeping the mix together.
Onward to the vocals; I’m pretty sure this is largely subjective, but I stand by saying that the band’s previous vocalist was a better fit. It’s clear that the whole mix (overall) is not as raw as heard in their previous album (although it’s still a pretty excellent job by Sami), and perhaps that doesn’t add the fact that the new singer feels a little rid of emotion compared to the man whose shoes he filled in for. Nonetheless, he makes quite a good start with the band, and does a great job overall. As stated before, the synthesized sounds play a big role on Entwine The Threads
, as they are used and highlighted quite often. How successfully they play such role, that’s discussable. Circle Of Contempt heavily relied on the use of synth, getting some great results most of the time, and some confusing results some other (fewer) times. Chances are the average listener will get over the minimal issues presented on the synth inputs, and that’s perfectly justifiable when you have moments like the one you find on To Entitle Vacancy
by the half of the second minute. Sweet mother of synth.
How does Entwine the Thread
hold overall? The answer is clear; It holds up as expected - very well. This would be an understatement if it wasn’t for the rather painfully short running time. It’s an EP, so we shouldn’t expect much more than these 19 minutes. But after pretty much eclipsing everything else on Sumerian records, COC were expected to unleash the beast and claim the title that is righteously theirs; instead, they went for a more accessible release, and lost some oomph on the way. Having that stated, the EP still works its’ magic the way it was intended to, and provides you with some amazing moments.
In conclusion, Entwine The Threads
is one great release. If you’re familiar with the band’s previous work, this does live up to the band’s name by now. If you’re not, I highly recommend you go through this EP first, and only then, through Artifacts In Motion
. Anyhow, if you like fast paced, chaotic but consistent Deathcore, you’d be a complete fool to pass on this album. These are 5 tracks that will keep our mouths watering until the day comes that COC releases another album. Let’s hope they don’t cure their allergy to minimalism, and that they don’t take as long as 3 years to release their next album. This is one of the most talented bands alive, and the constantly growing fan base demands more.