"Of War and Reflection" (Bled Out Records; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The Tenth Circle, formerly known as Cirrhosis, are based out of Pennsylvania and have unleashed their debut CD, "Of War And Reflection," after a few years of careful refinement of their modern death metal sound.

Let's get right to the point The Tenth Circle are a savage blend of Slayer-like intensity, Lamb Of God inspired technicality, and black metal's overwhelming and relentless sonic density. All the while the band never forgets that catchy riffs and the occasional melody can go a long way even in the most brutal forms of music. "Of War And Reflection" features 11 tracks of aggressive metal that carefully mirror the latest moves towards American pure metal fury. The Tenth Circle, much to their credit, manages to do  this without sounding too trendy.

Street credibility comes in the form of drummer Tim Yeung of Hate Eternal fame. However, the power of The Tenth Circle is not a simple as singling out an extraordinary drummer. The rest of The Tenth Circle are no slouches given the heaviness and brutality that exudes on every track of "Of War And Reflection" as ample proof of the band's dedication to their craft. However, superior technical skills are no substitute for good songwriting skills  The Tenth Circle, admittedly operating in a limited songwriting genre, seem to have a firm grasp on keeping things varied and interesting throughout the album. The vocals are a bit too copycat for my tastes Ross Whitecavage seems like the less evil twin of Lamb Of God's Randy Blythe. This isn't necessarily a bad thing it's just too noticeable for my tastes.

The Tenth Circle is definitely poised to turn some heads with "Of War And Reflection." I think that a few years from now we could look back on 2006 as the year that The Tenth Circle broke out. But they need to find a bit more of a unique identity as they move 
forward through the last half of the first decade of this new century.

"Of War And Reflection" was produced by Ross Gerson and Eric Rachel (The Black Dahlia Murder, God Forbid, Hatebreed).

The Tenth Circle is Ross Whitecavage on vocals, Dave Moody and Ross Gerson on guitars, Jasin Hollinger on bass, and Tim Yeung on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 14:16:30 -0400 .