The Ominious Circle is new, anonymous, and purposefully shrouded in as much mystery one can really manage in our hyper-connected world. All we really know is that they hail from Portugal, they talked the mighty Timo Ketola into doing their album art, and they're more than likely got a few Dead Congregation and Teitanblood records stashed away in their collections. Otherwise, for our purposes, they're nameless, shadowy figures, their only (and most important) characteristic being their uncanny ability to summon forth truly dark, decrepit death metal. The ritualistic, esoteric bent of their lyrics and overall aesthetic only fuel the fire, and pull it all together into a tidy, toxic package.
The outfit's first release, titled Appalling Ascension, is due out as a joint release from 20 Buck Spin and Osmose Productions (so you already know it's going to be good). Throughout its eight tracks, Appalling Ascension devotes its time to roiling riffs, apocalyptic percussion, an impossibly heavy low end, and echoing growls—classic modern dark death metal, really, with perhaps even more of a ghoulish doom edge and some truly nasty guitar work. Unlike many of its cave-dwelling peers, the band obviously pours real effort in crafting songs, not just song fragments sandwiched between swaths of spooky atmosphere (not that there's anything wrong with that, mind, but The Ominous Circle is clearly a band with ambition).
Anyway, it rules, and the album will be available from 20 Buck Spin (North America) and Osmose Productions (Europe) come January 27. For now, stretch forth thine hands, and press play.
Kim Kelly is serpentine on
Photo by João Fitas