Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
Callenish Circle
Pitch Black Effects
Metal Blade
2/19/2006 - Review by: Eric Compton
Callenish Circle - Pitch Black Effects - 2006 - Metal Blade

Track Listing
1. This Day You Regret
2. Ignorant
3. Behind Lines
4. Schwarzes Light
5. Sweet Cyanide
6. Blind
7. Guess Again
8. Self-Inflicted
9. As You Speak
10. Pitch Black
Callenish Circle's new album "Pitch Black Effects" is a perfect example of how a producer can make or break a recording, or extend the lifespan of a band or artist. Callenish Circle have made some waves coming into this studio session, but in my opinion have never quite broken into that marquee of stars, headlined by the stage extraordinaire Soilwork. While plenty of bands get really close to the bright lights and big city, CC thus far has fallen just a "wee-bit" short. Their previous two albums in "Flesh, Power, Dominion" and "My Passion/Your Pain" were well received and garnered the band heaps of press praise, leading the band to several large tours and a gig at Ozzfest in Europe. Now the group return to the studio with what I would consider their most mature work to date, a winning formula that is soaked to the bone with a rich, textured atmosphere that is both enduring and entertaining.

Without producer Gail Liebling (Gail Of God), "Pitch Black Effects" would probably be just "okay" if not "good". It has the bombastic drum drills, the high and low screams, a great sense of melody and groove, and some thought provoking lyrics. At times the band extend well beyond the delights found on their last two albums, really moving into more complex and well arranged structures that really define today's "thinking man's metal". But with Leibling behind the control panel, the good turns great.

Leibling of course gives this whole recording an awe inspiring production job, completely understanding the mechanics and technical precission needed for an album like this. The whole record sounds absolutely amazing, almost as if one is competing for sonic authority in a factory of tumbling metal gears. But beyond that extraordinary sound comes Leibling's injection of his own voice and vision. CC here hand some creative control over to their producer, allowing Leibling to insert some much needed electronics and synths, never enought to completely absorb the album, but just enough to allow atmosphere and depth. That is what these types of bands need at this point. Once they run the gauntlet of speed and power, they need something a bit more to extend their plays to the complacent listener. CC have done that and in turn changed the course of their sound into a whole new level of listening entertainment.

Bottom Line - Callenish Circle, with the help of producer Gail Leibling and mixing by Tue Madsen (The Haunted, Disbelief), have established a higher level of being. "Pitch Black Effects" is one for the ages, a powerful, emotional release that weighs in with the same leadership and authority as In Flames, Soilwork, and Opeth.

--EC 1.22.06

Forbidden Empathy
Troy Cole6/25/2005
Forbidden Empathy
Troy Cole6/8/2005
Pitch Black Effects
Metal Blade
Eric Compton2/19/2006


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