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Circle of Dust - s/t (Re-issue)

Well, it seems like 50% of the reviews I’ve been doing lately have been re-releases. In a way that’s cool, cause that means more chance for fans to grab those releases they missed or lost or whatever. Of course, all the people making tons of money on EBay off the originals probably don’t care for it much. Anyways…what we have here is a re-release of Circle of Dust’s first album. I remember when this album first came out in the early ‘90’s. I had never been even remotely into industrial-influenced music before. While many people want to go off and call this straight up industrial, a (now) huge industrial fan like me can’t let that slide. This is more of an industrial influenced, dance/techno metal hybrid…not straight up industrial. At times, Circle of Dust sounds really cool. They get those heavy, metalized guitars going with harsh/computerized vocals and haunting samples and noises. Then at other times, they have dated keyboard sounds, somewhat lame vocals, and samples of stuff like the Popeye cartoon character. It just drives a person batty! Really though, for it’s time in history, Circle of Dust was a pretty popular band. And this disc still does have its moments. The ominous song “Night Fall” is a shining moment, along with the follow up tune “Nothing Sacred” with it’s great opening sample that warns, “My soul is prepared…how is yours?” Speaking of samples, how about the fiery preacher at the start of “Senseless Abandon”? If that don’t get your attention, nothing will. Especially the song, which is nothing to write home. The music is nice and heavy, but those vocals…yuck! I wish the band would’ve gone with the computerized distorted vocals on more of the songs here.

So…do I like this album or what? Well, it kinda depends. Some songs I do, some I don’t. While I definitely think this re-release is warranted, it’s definitely not one that I would’ve put at the top of the list. As for the work of Scott Albert, or Klay Scott, or Spinach Lover, or whatever the heck he calls himself these days...I prefer his heavier stuff from Brainchild. Or to be even more specific, I enjoy his stuff on the Metamorphosis Re-mixes the best. That stuff was brutally heavy and much more attention grabbing. I must also note that this album was recorded in 1995 with 3 songs dropped and 4 songs added. I’ve never heard that version, so maybe it has a little more consistent sound than this disc.

Once again, Retroactive Records has limited this disc to 1000 copies. They also enhanced the original artwork and gave it a digitally re-mastered sound. If you are fans of Nine Inch Nails, Brainchild, Klank, Argyle Park, or even older Mortal, than this disc should be right up your alley.

Rating: 68/100

Review By: Matt Morrow

Label: Retroactive Records

Total Songs: 10

Total Time: 51:25

Tracklisting: 1. Exploration, 2. Dissolved, 3. Night Fall, 4. Nothing Sacred, 5. Twisted Reality, 6. Technological Disguise, 7. Consequence, 8. Demoralize, 9. Rational Lies, 10. Senseless Abandon.

Best Songs: Tracks 3, 4, 5, and 7

Band Lineup: Scott Albert

Band Website: ?