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.

[Other Maximum Metal Columns]

<< back >>

. Bathory. The Kovenant
. LA Guns. Nightwish
. BloodDuster. Tiamat
. Dokken. Rebellion
. Grave Digger. Twelfth Gate
. Majesty. Wizard
. Cage. Brainstorm
. Ion Vein. Byfist
. Supervillain. Catch 22
. Paragon. Morbid Angel
. Steel Preacher. Windseeker
. Stalker. Edguy
. Asperity. Body Count
. Dreamaker. Force Of Evil
. TNA. Shiva
. Black Stone Cherry. Yngwie Malmsteen
. Babylon Mystery Orchestra. Deep Purple
. Bleeding Inc. Icon And The Black Roses
. Van Helsing’s Curse. Lonewolf
. Iron Angel. Judas Priest
. Hatework. Dimmu Borgir
. Fireaxe. Killswitch Engage
. Wintersun. Medusa
. Necrodemon. Internal Bleeding
. Conquestador. Haunted By Angels
. Silent Force. Acheron
. Anger. Karmakanic
. John Oliva's Pain. Feared Creation
. Legion. Cradle To Grave
. Helgrind. The New Breed
. Rottweiller. The Mighty Nimbus
. Veni Domine. Hibria
. Soulscar. Carina Alfie
. Angtoria. Nevermore
. Apocalyptica. Backyard Babies
. John Sykes. Crimson Moonlight
. Argument Soul. Oathean
. Frantic Bleep. Kryoburn
. Strapping Young Lad. System Of A Down
. Ignitor. Sinisthra
. Throes of Dawn. Pro-Pain
. Embraze. Graveworm
. Communic. Dark Funeral
. Circus Maximus. Dynamic Lights
. Secrets She Kept. The Father Panic Riot Orchestra
. Thor. Devil Lee Rot
. Widow. Scar Symmetry
. To The Bone. Dirty Americans
. Savage Circus. The Absence
. Ghost Machinery. Damnation
. Thrones. Overmars
. Ram-Zet. Urizen
. Asrai. Torture Killer
. Detonation. Virgin Steele
. Absolution. Enforsaken
. Second Shadow. Thryfing
. Blackmore's Night. Beyond Fear
. Thyrane. Tris Katone
. The Ocean. Manngard
. Dream Or Nightmare. Hirax
. Hate Profile. Cult of Luna
. Amon Amarth. Agalloch
. Burialmound. Wednesday 13
. Jeff Walker und Die Fluffers. Pretty Maids
. The Abominable Iron Sloth. Zoroaster
. Eighteen Visions. Panzerchrist
. The Showdown. Deicide
. Better Left Unsaid. Celtic Frost
. Urkraft. Handful of Hate
. Blood Tsunami. The Gathering
. Omnium Gatherum. Throne of Katarsis
. Gotthard. Katrina Johansson
. Trenchfoot. Kruger
. Hearse. Pathosray
. Averse Sefira. Shining Star
. Bilocate. 40 Below Summer
. Pop Evil. Blood Haven
. Souls Of We. Equilibrium
. Kiuas. End of Man
. Sin. Faded Hope
. Nasty Idols. Eighteen Wheels Burning
. Uli Jon Roth. Earthen Grave