Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Country: Sweden
Label: Records of Indifference
Year: 2014

Traditionally, Sweden is the place of Death and Black Metal. Actually, it is the birth-country of the most important bands in these kinds of music. Bands such as Bathory, Entombed, Marduk, Edge of Sanity, Unleashed and Dark Funeral have already written their history in golden pages of music. Except for these famous bands, there are so many others that follow, almost, the same paths that those bands traced so many years ago.

One of them is Circle of Indifference (COI), which is a one-man band, his really name is Dagfinn Øvstrud, and some days ago he releases his debut album, “Shadows of Light”. He is responsible for everything in this release except for vocals, guitar solos and some technical, mainly, characteristics in many parts. The guys that helped Dagfinn for this release was: Brandon Leigh Polaris (vocals), Tyler Teeple (lead guitar), Nikki Monney (vocals on “Darkness”) and Aybars Altay [additional instruments on “Shadows of Light (Aybars Remix)]. One of the most notable things of this release is the fact that the cooperation of all musicians was made via internet without meeting in person because they live in different countries (Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Germany and USA).

Ok, let’s see what this debut is! Intro is well-suited for an electronic album than in this release. Maybe, it’s a message for the future “using” of relative sounds in some songs such as “Shadows of Light”, “Evil” and so on. The overall release is mainly an old school death metal, especially in the section of sound and in instrument’s playing. There is a combination on death metal guitars with a lot of thrashing points and this mix is as good as it gets. But, in some parts, Dagfinn overdoes with this, so it’s too bored for the listener. Of course, there are a lot of classical death metal riffs but the problem here is that they offer nothing but typical rhythms. Solos are well-placed and in a good mood with the rest music, without “telling stories about “turkeys” and exotic places” (I hope anyone can understand this), but sometimes Tyler plays a Malmsteen’s style solos.

Vocals are furious, vocals are influenced from core-metal singers, but deep beneath anyone can recognise some characteristic of death metal growls and so on. Some clean vocals, which are existed almost everywhere in the release, give a differentiation to the overall sense of this album. Some small “paintings” of Mrs Nikki Monney, the female vocalist, fulfil the whole atmosphere of “Shadows of Light”, leading, in this specific part, in a gothic romance at the end, especially in the way she sings. Last but not least, drum programming is quite good, is quite powerful and is connected perfectly with the rest rhythms on guitars and bass.

The 59 minutes of “Shadows of Light” is so much time and maybe this is the reason why someone would get bored at the end of it. The sound and the instrument’s playing are quite the same with those of old bands such as Entombed, Edge of Sanity and Dismember. But, taking into consideration that this is the debut album of COI and the fact that Dagfinn is responsible almost for everything in this recording, we are so hopeful for a better future work.

RECOMMENDED SONGS: “Alone”, “Shadows of Light”, “Evil”, “Another Day in Paradise” and “Push”.