top of page

Circle of Dust - DISENGAGE

Circle of Dust - Disengage

“You Are Fragile” … The Genesis of Celldweller

As if the Argyle Park 3 CD set was not expansive enough…the final installment in the 2016 COD reissue/remaster series is exhaustively massive (nearly 3 hours of content). Here Disengage and Refractorchasm have been enveloped into one entity. Where Argyle Park allowed Klayton to push the envelope of techno/electronic/metal hybridization into different styles of rock and metal, the songs contained hereon essentially provided the substrate for the genesis of Celldweller. The heavy sampling and industrial influences (while still present) were largely supplanted by heavy techno/rave/dance vibes (the metal feel gone for the most part) – the net effect yielding a much more commercial feel, yet without sacrificing the insane COD hallmark sound. Klayton’s vocal style was more melodic — some of these songs incredibly addicting. In addition, he introduced us to the ethereal tracks (“Babylon,” “Thulcandra” and “Perelandra” — soundscapes to the future that would permeate a lot of his post-COD compositions and soundtracks/video game clips. Moreover, the songs from Refractorchasm foreshadowed Klayton’s penchant to create remixes. Never satisfied with a final version, this is the first time he published the endless number of variations on a given concept. Disengage didn’t manifest as many original ideas as what had come before, but instead represented a core concept with multiple permutations around the main lyrical themes of “Refractor” and “Chasm.” Replete with new artwork, this 3 disc set is fantastic.

“Sweet Refractor I’m Indebted To You…”

Disc 1 once again features the original release tracks remastered. In addition, the uncensored version of the Bowie-esque “Deadly Love” and the title track “Disengage” are included. This stuff was pretty well-produced the first time around so I don’t hear as much difference in this new rendition. Where the 2016 COD reissues sport a generally “beefed up” low end, I think these songs seem a bit quieter and more balanced than the originals. They still sound incredible, perhaps more so at high volumes. The remixes have always been so rad, especially “Hate Opened Wide,” which remains my favorite of the remixes. Both of the lvl remixes - “Easier to Hate” and “Alone to Die” – are killer as well.

“Everything is Proceeding as Planned”

Disc 2 features the 2016 tracks “Machines of Grace” from the upcoming new COD release and Blue Stahli’s modern take on “Yurasuka.” The former track makes the anticipation grow for the new material as it features heavy guitar riffs, fast-paced drumming and clever and insightful lyrics, while the latter track revitalizes and modernizes the 90’s rap/electronica hybrid staple. The acoustic “Your Voice” will generate the most controversy with its simplistic, yet explicit lyric. The rest of this disc is a treasure trove of instrumental and acoustic tracks and variations best left to the listener’s exploration. One of the pearls here is the Babylonian flashback version of “Mesmerized” – very cool.

“You Came and Made Me One of Your Kind”

Disc 3 is really the true “demo” disc this time around as it contains not one, but 3 demo variations of “Chasm” along with the demo versions of “Blindeye” (very cool) and the lengthy lvl demo version of “Refractor.” This latter song, along with the demo version of “Waste of Time” (“Beneath the Skin”), represents almost entirely different versions of these songs, which is intriguing and really adds to the value of this set. The “Dust” tracks are short and sweet this time, introducing us to some of the rudimentary concepts of Disengage and late 90’s Klayton electronica. Finally, the disc closes out with the “clean” version of “Your Noise” and the “censored” (original issue) version of “Deadly Love.”

This 2016 reissue series has been a phenomenal journey over the past 10 months, traveling back in time while simultaneously introducing the future. Disengage had a pivotal role for Klayton because it launched him in a whole new direction musically and conceptually. For me, these songs are absolutely iconic, and I rank it a close second behind Brainchild in the series, right alongside the debut. [FiXT]

Click button to like this post, or below to like our whole page

Heaven's Metal Magazine Presents: White Throne Radio
Heaven's Metal
bottom of page