Review Summary: Circle of Silence release one of the best albums of the year with "The Rise of Resistance".
Circle of Silence has long been one of my favourite power metal bands, their music always bearing a more vicious edge than many of their contemporaries. This year, the German five-piece dropped their fourth full-length, "The Rise of Resistance
", and it's proven to be an excellent follow-up to "The Blackened Halo
", which got me into the band originally. Improving many-fold, Circle of Silence have honed their more violent side, and hit 2013 with a brilliantly-executed fifty minutes of power(ful) metal. Between the energetic guitar-play the dual guitarists bring to the table and the sheer vocal presence that Niklas Keim delivers, "The Rise of Resistance
" deserves to be added to any purveyor of heavy or power metal, and might even serve those who enjoy the realm of thrash.
If you'd like an audible summary of the guitars, go listen to the opening to "One Moment of Hate". Did you listen to it? If you did, I don't even have to ask if you liked it, because that part's a given - Circle of Silence's guitarists add a mesmerizing and meticulous melody to their music, carving out a beautiful sound amidst the viciousness of the vocals and the drums. Between the solos that carry an edge atypical of the genre and the thrashy riffs like those found on opener "Blood of Enemies", there's plenty of variety to be found on "The Rise of Resistance
". One of the best things about Circle of Silence's past work was the creativity expressed in their guitar-play, and it's both refreshing and enthusing to find their best guitar-work on their latest release.
In similar fashion, the vocals on "The Blackened Halo
" were one of the more interesting aspects of that record, and they've only gotten more frenetic on this album. While the closest thing to standard fare for the genre can be found in the high-pitched notes on "An Oncoming Storm", Keim's vocals carry a vicious edge unheard of in his previous performances, making songs like "Eyes of Anarchy" and the album's aforementioned opener "Blood of Enemies" addictive to listen to. Keim's vocals are some of the only ones in the genre which I find myself truly interested in, and his delivery on "The Rise of Resistance
" is second to none. His voice comes alive on tracks like "Mind Conspiracy", showing off his full range from a quiet whisper to a passionate scream, and the vocals as a whole synergies incredibly-well with the guitar-work and the drums, driving the mix forward in one swift movement.
As soon as I listened to "In the Absence of Your God", I knew the drum fills on this album were going to be among the best of the year. While the bass-work of Björn Boehm boosts the mix up a notch in terms of volume, Peter Suppinger's drum-work is a calculated and perfected variety of hat hits, snare slams, and bass kicks, even accelerating into what sounds a lot like blast beats at times. The band is clearly not afraid to redefine their genre and step out of bounds, and as refreshing as that seems, the real benefit is the killer sound on tracks like "We Rise". Anthems like this are made by the drums beating up a steady rhythm, and Suppinger's work is top-notch - he proves that he knows how to get the job done on this record.
"The Rise of Resistance
" is not only the best of Circle of Silence's efforts, it is one of the best albums of 2013. It should put the German metallers where they rightfully belong - in the spotlight of the scene, where they get the attention they deserve. I hope they continue to improve their techniques and deliver their crushing anthems and fantastic melodies, but one thing is for certain: "The Rise of Resistance
" deserves every bit of hyperbole it's gotten in this review, and more. It deserves your purchase, so go buy the damn thing, and thank me later.