Circle Of Dead Children – Starving The Vultures

Circle Of Dead Children’s first album; probably the release that people talk about the least from them.  Although it’s a really good release, it’s easy to see how it gets lost in the shuffle, particularly when it was followed by ‘Exotic Sense Decay’, probably one of the most essential modern grind releases out there.  This on the other hand is merely excellent music instead of the incredibly dense slab of micro-art they constructed with that later piece.  It’s easy to recommend to any grind fans, and in particular any Circle Of Dead Children fans; they’re unmistakable for any other artist and possess a style all their own, even at this very early stage of their career.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of this album is that it probably has more open melody than any other Circle Of Dead Children release.  Certainly the band employs fragmentary melody on their later material, but rarely engages in the fully melodic riffing that appears on songs here such as ‘Return To Water’.  The music is still spastic, violent, and unusual, but it seems less utterly esoteric than on releases such as ‘Exotic Sense Decay’, with a much greater sense of traditional songwriting.  It’s probably this band’s easiest release for a non-grind fan to get into; there’s nothing super abstract going on and the general aesthetic isn’t as punishing as it is on later releases.

Of course, this is as much to the benefit of the album as it is its downfall.  This is essentially Circle Of Dead Children playing ‘normal’ music, and while it’s cool, it’s for that very reason not as worthwhile as their more experimental releases.  It has good songs and it’s listenable, but I don’t get the same feeling of experiencing something very unique with this record that I do with their other releases.  As you can see, the band itself has somewhat doomed this early album to obscurity as it practically begs to be compared to more notable releases by the same artist.  This is somewhat disappointing because it IS a good record; it’s just easily overshadowed by its siblings from later on.

Per usual, all instruments are played impeccably and the production is clear if rather flat.  I like listening to it (more than I ordinarily would since it’s so short I don’t really have to carve out much time to get the full experience), but in comparison to the rest of Circle Of Dead Children’s work, it’s merely good, not a necessary purchase.  If you like solid grind, go pick it up, but otherwise you can pass since there are other, more important, and still immediately available items of theirs to acquire.

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~ by noktorn on August 28, 2008.

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