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Isolation - "Closing A Circle" (CD)

Isolation - "Closing A Circle" CD cover image

"Closing A Circle" track listing:

1. Something And Nothing (1:03)
2. Closing A Circle (5:54)
3. Never Enough (4:47)
4. This Moment (5:04)
5. Nomad (8:07)
6. One Day (4:37)
7. Fan The Flames (3:46)
8. There Will Be No Answer (1:39)
9. The Wasteland (7:06)
10. May You Fare Well (3:59)

Reviewed by on July 29, 2011

"Once this review goes to print, 'Closing A Circle' will collect dust, along with the other promos that had few positive attributes."

Forming as a black/doom metal project, Isolation has switched over to an atmospheric rock/metal sound for their debut album “Closing A Circle.” By making this drastic shift, this German trio broadens their music to a more accepting audience. Whether that audience can put up with the horrid clean vocals, boring songs, and lack of energy is anyone’s guess. Bands like Porcupine Tree and Anathema have proven that atmospheric music can be emotional and gripping, two aspects that Isolation lacks on “Closing A Circle.”

This album is very low-key, never even attempting to break free of first gear. There is no build-up to a high energy section; just mid-paced slogging. “Fan The Flames” is the only track that begins to liven the pace up, a faster tune with one of the few moments of harsh vocals. Most of the album uses whiny, out-of-tune clean vocals that have the power of an electric scooter low on battery. There’s little change in tone, and the few high notes hit are embarrassing.

The vocals aren’t a factor on the four instrumentals used on “Closing A Circle.” The music takes precedence and some great bass work is featured, especially on “There Will Be No Answer.” However, “Nomad” tries too hard to be some epic eight-minute saga when it could have easily been trimmed in half. Placed right in the center of the album, “Nomad” drains the feeble life out of the album. With the way the rest of the songs are, there’s no sudden adrenaline shot to revive the album.

“Closing A Circle” is not a complete wash. The title track has a surprising infectious tone that makes the plodding momentum easier to digest. There are a few moments where the band seems to have an idea, whether it’s the use of sampling or some rhythm-led sections, that could lead to something passible if it was only explored further. For the most part, forgettable songs like “This Moment” and “One Day” overshadow the bright spots.

When done correctly, this type of moody rock/metal can be really crafty and worth venturing into. Obviously, if the rest of this review didn’t give enough clues, Isolation’s “Closing A Circle” is not one of these types. Even after almost a dozen listens, nothing is left to wonder or mull about. Once this review goes to print, “Closing A Circle” will collect dust, along with the other promos that had few positive attributes. This may find favor with passionate metal fans that enjoy the atmospheric side, but even they might let out a yawn long before the last track.

Highs: Great bass work, a few catchy moments

Lows: Boring as dirt, no energy, lengthy instrumentals that go nowhere, awful vocals

Bottom line: A dull atmospheric rock/metal album that is a good solution to deal with insomnia.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)