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CIRCLE OF DUST - Machines Of Our Disgrace

Circle Of Dust Meets Celldweller In Sci-fi Transhumanism Saga

Replete with all-new material for 2016, Machines Of Our Disgrace picks up where Disengage left off in 1998 . The opening track, “re_Engage,” is an instrumental piece which serves to introduce the resurrected version of Circle of Dust. The sci-fi theme of transhumanism becomes immediately apparent with the subsequent title track where we are treated to COD guitar riffs overlying a tight beat. In 1998, Disengage was morphing COD into a new entity – deleting most of sound-bytes so prevalent on the first two COD releases and moving away from the heavy industrial influences – but these songs are more abrasive and once again feature the verbal sound-bytes, the characters herein detailing the concepts and storyline. While these songs never attain the massiveness of sound found on the early COD material (Brainchild in particular), the metal edginess in songs like the title track, the scathing “Contagion” and the thrash-infused “Humanarchy” is greatly welcome. However, as a whole, I would describe this more as an amalgam of some of the early COD (aforementioned songs) with Disengage era soundscapes (“alt-human,” “Malachandra” and “Neophyte”) and Celldweller melodies and catchiness (“Embracing Entropy” and “Hive Mind”). There is even a bit of Scandroid thrown into the mix with “Outside In,” lyrically the strongest song here. This really shouldn’t be a surprise given that Klayton has always blended all of his projects extremely effectively. The more video/movie track influences show up as well on the creepy “Neurachem”/”k_OS” tandem. This sequence features lots of dialogue about transhumanism, most importantly the operative resurrection of a “corpse.” One of the oddest songs here would have to be “Neophyte” (previously released on the 2016 self-titled debut reissue). This song isn’t that heavy but does bring Disengage era COD to mind. The album fades out in quite a mellow mode with the instrumental “Malachandra,” a song which shares much in common with “Thulcandra.” Overall, my biggest criticism about Machines Of Our Disgrace, which is quite engaging on a musical and conceptual level and sounds absolutely amazing, is that the songs are not consistently heavy, metal or industrial enough. Looking forward to more.

[Editorial Note: Not sure how this one got missed, but this review was written in 2016 at the time of release but somehow never posted here. Enjoy]

Track Listing:

1. re_Engage (1:20)

2. Machines of our Disgrace (5:26)

3. Contagion (5:25)

4. Embracing Entropy (6:24)

5. Humanarchy (5:00)

6. Signal (0:31)

7. alt_human (5:01)

8. Hive Mind (5:57)

9. Outside In (6:16)

10. Neurachem (4:45)

11. k_OS (3:31)

12. Neophyte (6:00)

13. Malacandra (6:04)

14. Blank Track (7:00)

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