Circle of Dead Children
Psalm of the Grand Destroyer
An open letter to Scott Hull:
Dear Mr. Hull,
We’ve never spoken, but I just had to take a brief moment to thank you for not being Steve Austin.
To the best of my knowledge, sir, you have neither stolen a drummer from Circle of Dead Children to further your own musical aims nor have you hellaciously fucked up the band’s sound on an album from the producer’s chair, rendering it flat, stale, lifeless and a groaning diarrheal disappointment (see also, Comfort Margin, Zero). No, Mr. Hull, I just wanted to thank you for the thunderfucking crack of doom bass that dredges through Psalm of the Grand Destroyer opener “Avatar of Innocence.” While the Pittsburgh band’s last couple of albums have been serviceable, even fleetingly enjoyable amalgams of death metal brute and grindcore windshear, Psalm of the Grand Destroyer played to Circle of Dead Children’s strengths as the last men standing of the Steeltown scene, an incestuous merry go round of characters who would man CoDC, Fate of Icarus, Creation is Crucifixion and Sadis Euphoria in the name of brutal fucking noise. And given frontman Joe Hovarth’s mano a mano bout with a near fatal staph infection, just seeing a new album from the band is reward enough for now, Mr. Hull.
Though the band proudly proclaims they “Refuse to Kill the Same Way Twice,” Psalm will be comfortably familiar to anyone who flipped their shit over The Genocide Machine. Revisiting “Ursa Major” from debut album Starving the Vultures, likewise, adds nothing new, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it, sir? Mr. Hull, you’ve cleverly just let the band do what they do best with minimal interference as they ravage songs like “Obsidian Flakes,” letting the tinkling, almost subliminal introduction build until a photonegative storm front rains a black-flaked blizzard of ravaged death metal over a grim, lightless underworld.
Circle of Dead Children – “Obsidian Flakes”
No, Mr. Hull, you’ve simply primed the canvas for Circle of Dead Children, whether it’s deft touches like the funeral march lament of the grave weary “Germinate the Reaper” or allowing Hovarth’s multiple personality vocals – a veritable galaxy of death rattle gargles, bone gnawing rasps and hellacious underworld groans – to take their rightful place in front of “Last Words and Warning Signs.”
So, in closing, Mr. Hull, again I wish to thank you for not being Steve Austin.
Yr obt. and faithful svt.,
Etc. etc. etc.
[Full disclosure: Willowtip sent me a review copy.]