Sunday, 28 June 2009

CD Review: Pitch Black Effects, by Callenish Circle (2005)

There are not many heavy metal bands from Holland. Callenish Circle had a go at a career for about 10 years from the mid-1990's to the mid 2000's, but after only fair to middling success, they called it a day in early 2007. Pitch Black Effects was their final CD, and probably a good indication of the band's talent and limitations.

All the ingredients are there: a reasonable twin guitar sound, good growl vocals, a dense but unobtrusive foundation of bass and drums, and a dedication to energetic melody-based metal.
But the necessary spices and seasonings that are needed to propel a band towards more widespread success are missing -- the songs are mostly forgettable, repetitive, and sound-a-like, there are a few too many synth-driven trickeries, the solos are tame, and overall the CD provides an impression of a band trying hard but straining and only hitting the peripheries of all the important targets.

This Day You Regret points to the promise of the band: a hard-hitting, fast melody driven by a memorable staccato guitar assault. Sweet Cyanide also hints at the strengths of the band, with a complex and lyrical melody that combines speed changes with lively delivery.

Unfortunately there is little else that awakens the CD from the doldrums. The rest of the song list is a combination of uninspired and unambitious, and mostly just thumps along with unmemorable tunes in search of a purpose. Guess Again dips into particularly poor levels of mediocrity.

Given the band's clear effort, this is all somewhat sad, and it is surely both appropriate and suitable that the career ends on a short melancholy instrumental titled Pitch Black. Crank up This Day You Regret and remember Callenish Circle at their best.


Pat Savelkoul - Vocals
Ron Tijssen - Guitars
Gav Harte - Drums
Muuk Dietern - Guitars
Maurice Brouwers - Bass

Songlist (Ratings out of 10):

1. This Day You Regret - 9
2. Ignorant - 6
3. Behind Lines - 6
4. Schwarzes Licht - 6
5. Sweet Cyanide - 8
6. Blind - 7
7. Guess Again - 5
8. Self-Inflicted - 6
9. As You Speak - 7
10. Pitch Black - n/a (short instrumental)

Average: 6.67

Produced and Recorded by Gail Liebling.
Mixed by Tue Madsen, Gail Liebling and Ronny Tijssen.
Mastered by Peter Neuber.

All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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