Featured Demo

Circle of Nero - Demo (2003)

By: Frank Hill
Published: Thursday, June 5, 2003
Circle of Nero - 2003 Demo

1. Sanguinarian/Bloodplay
2. Stigmata
3. Serial X
4. Scattered Remains
5. Time Is The Killer

The Band
Gary McCaffrey - vocals
Koky Flores - guitar
Thomas Staples - bass
Jake Vorrath - drums

Band Website

I almost hate to call this Nu metal or Prog metal or Thrash or anything else because the 5 songs on this demo weave their way down the fine line between metal genres pretty deftly, careening headlong into one style and storming through another until they eventually shift back to that ragged path straight to Hell.

"Sanguinarian" starts off the CD with some atmospheric keyboards and a short, twisted "Dearly Beloved" intro speech marrying the listener into the dark Circle of Nero. All Hell breaks loose for the standout second part "Bloodplay" with its Mudvayne style, stutter bass and Gary McCaffery's lucid vocals switching between a Pantera-type growl and higher pitched Manson vox. "Stigmata" is probably the most accessible with the friendly chorus--"On a bed of nails I await like a living sacrifice". "Scattered Remains" circles from atmosphere to pit-thrashing violence and back. "Time Is The Killer" is another of my favorite tracks. It's probably the most emotionally draining number with its DIE...DIE...DIE chants, its melodic keyboards and its cathartic, smash-and-destroy-the-place ending.

Any fan of modern, heavy bass, rhythm-oriented metal should do well with Circle of Nero and it will be interesting to see what will happen to the band with their amalgamated sound: will it keep them from finding a niche audience or will it keep them from being drawn into a corner with other genre-specific bands that lose audience when trends fades?

The disc is definitely one of my favorites so far this year and if I'm not sure what I want to listen to I just drop it in and all is right as rain...a very red rain.

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