Label: Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions – AO-117
Format: Digipak CD
Released: 20 December 2019
Style: Black metal
Grave Circles´ full-length album Tome II is an exemplar on how well-placed and plotted atmospherics can transform what might otherwise be considered a bare-bones black metal recording into something far more memorable and transcendent. A sequel to the Ukrainians’ 2017 Tome I EP, they’ve conjured up seven tracks in 43 minutes which convey an extremely consistent stylistic pattern, but possess just enough dynamic variation and range that the entire package seems bleakly satisfactory. With so much of their sound still rooted in convention, it would be incorrect to apply them a tag like ‘progressive black metal’, but instead they embellish the grim core of the medium with a few welcome and unexpected ideas or instruments that only expand the compositional quality. Recommended for fans of Primordial, Enslaved, Negura Bunget, Drudkh, Winterfylleth.