Circle Of Shadows is the debut album from Ontario based heavy rockers Abandoned Souls. The band formed in 2004 instantly concentrating all their efforts on writing and recording demos before moving onto the live circuit and then recording this album.
I must admit, when I first saw the name of the band (and album) it instantly conjured up images of a bunch of miserable goth types, but thankfully that is nowhere near the truth. There's a big Dirt era Alice In Chains influence throughout the album. Don't make the mistake of confusing them with any whiney shoe-gazing grunge types though, there's a consistently heavy groove permeating throughout all these tracks, even on the slower songs. The album opens with "Drawing Lines", a track full of big crunchy guitars and vocals that instantly make you think of the late Layne Staley. Production throughout is great, the sound quite literally explodes from the speakers with a perfect balance between the guitars and an incredibly tight rhythm section. Third track "She Rides" has a bouncy riff that instantly grabs your attention before dropping down a gear for the verses before building up into a chorus that sticks in your head and you can't help but sing along to. The intro riffing to "Severed" reminds me a lot of Black Label Society, high praise indeed. I defy anyone to listen to this album and not find their heads involuntary nodding along on each song. Closing track "It's A Lie" is heavily influenced by Black Sabbath and chugs along with an impressive 70's heavy rock style stomp.
Whilst this may not be the
usual Glitzine fare don't let that put you off buying what is a well written,
superbly performed album with great production. If anyone out there is still
missing Alice In Chains, you should not miss this album!
by John Baxter
Visit the Abandoned Souls Website