THECIRCLE @ Metal Storm (8.4 / 10)
This is a remix album. Normally I treat remix albums with dread. I suppose it’s because The Cure is my favorite band ever and they opted to follow up their greatest album, Disintegration, with the dance re-mix abortion of their hits that is Mixed Up. Nearly 20 years on, I still suffer from PTSD thanks to that release.
So a remix album?
At least, per his interview with me/us, Hugo of Process Of Guilt is a Godflesh fan. Justin Broadrick is good at the whole remix thing, so maybe it will rub off. But it’s one thing to take a mulligan and remix what is arguably the band’s worst album, which Godflesh did with Songs Of Love And Hate. It takes cojones – big titanium ones – to take 2009 MS Staff Doom Pick Erosion, toss it in a blender, then release the results.
OK, so The Circle isn’t exactly a puréed version of Erosion in its entirety. Rather it takes the last track off that album, “Circle,” and remixes it six ways to Sunday.
It starts off innocuously enough, as “Circle I” sounds like, well, “Circle”. From there, the ship leaves the dock and starts its departure towards previously uncharted waters.
“Circle II” is already a significant deviation from the Process Of Guilt norm. The low end seems to travel along, scraping the sea floor while atmospheric melodies, the two elements combine to form a version with a relaxing feel to it.
Other iterations continue to evolve/devolve the original track. “III” is centered around a creepy sound bite, “This is the time…. Of sin and disease.” Another involves what I think to be a cello providing a different – but dramatic flair. By the time they reach the final iteration, the track has all but disintegrated to the point of being completely unidentifiable as the original… and this was the point they left me behind. “VI” contains lots of low-end thumps and booms, high pitches noises and metallic scraping – it’s almost a concatenation of “things which annoy BitterCOld”…. I’m pretty sure they even have, buried within the track, nails on chalkboard.
But I guess the band knew that invariably they would leave segments of their audience behind on various stages of this cruise.
So kudos to the band for having the audacity – and stones – to do something so adventurous to a track (and album) that a lot of folks hold in a great deal of esteem. They did a great job in reinterpreting one track through five entirely different lenses.
This is definitely worth checking out if you liked Erosion and perhaps some of Ulver‘s EPs over the last decade. Just don’t expect Circle II through VI to be Erosion II.