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Encyrcle - "Encyrcle" (CD)

Encyrcle - "Encyrcle" CD cover image

"Encyrcle" track listing:

1. Chronoboros
2. To The End
3. Evoke The Night
4. Bloodbasker
5. En Trance
6. Dizzy Me Deadly
7. Serpent's Dream
8. Deathlust
9. Facelasher
10. Black Dust
11. Obliteration Eyes

Reviewed by on April 14, 2015

"...the guitars, vocals, and melodies are firmly cast in speed metal iron."

Encyrcle plays speed metal - not your garden variety blend, though. The Danish group dubs its music “Nocturnal Speed Metal,” with “Nocturnal” describing the darkness inherit in the songs. It also hints at the black metal blasting drums that make an occasional appearance. While this label says the band can’t be pigeonholed into one sub-genre, the guitars, vocals, and melodies are firmly cast in speed metal iron.

The album begins with “Chronoboros,” a brief instrumental complete with a strong guitar melody and the tolling of a bell that sets the tone for the album. “To The End” then shows the band picking up the pace. This track is led by a sliding guitar riff, a technique shown throughout the album. Here we also get our first listen to N. Hydra’s vocals. He sings passionate notes that at times remind of Hansi Kürsh of Blind Guardian. He doesn’t sing every note at the top of his lungs, so his highest notes stand out more. One of his best screams happens during this track when he issues a double layered cry. Hydra really seems in command of the microphone.

Encyrcle’s self-titled album is rife with guitar melodies. One of my favorites appears during the opening part of “Evoke The Night.” Here the band produces a Maiden-eque riff that appropriately transitions into more NWOHBM sounds. Besides shredding fingers, the solos yield melody on this song, too. “Deathlust” segues the melodies from “Serpent’s Dream, but soon transitions into speed picking.

The piano notes on “Serpent’s Dream” are an ominous sort, reminiscent of Dimmu Borgir’s keyboards. The guitar tones bleed out of the speakers on this track. “En Trance” and “Deathlust” are some of the darkest songs on the album. “En Trance” shows the band taking a doomy route for the tempos. The riffs get really chunky here and there are excellent solos. “Deathlust” contains some of the fastest guitar on the album. This track’s drums also keep a black metal pace in parts as does “Black Dust” and “En Trance.” The band’s darkest songs seem to be the ones that contain blast beats.

Encyrcle’s “Nocturnal Speed Metal” is definitely catchy. The band expertly blends speed metal with the intermittent segments of black metal with a good production and no screechy vocals. Black metal fans might not take to Hydra’s clean vocal tones, but they should appeal to fans of speed and power metal. From galloping licks to sliding notes and piercing solos, the guitars are the band’s best asset.

Highs: N. Hydra pushes his vocal highs just enough to the point of not being annoying.

Lows: The band could use more blast beats.

Bottom line: A decent effort of modern speed metal.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 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)