Eleven Fingers

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11/20
Band Name Circle Of Ouroborus
Album Name Eleven Fingers
Type Album
Data de lançamento 2011
Estilo de MúsicaAvantgardiste Black
Membros têm este álbum2

Tracklist

1. The Prayer 04:52
2. Shadows Lead 06:51
3. Warpath 04:59
4. Staining the Paper to Create 03:15
5. Sigil of Suns 06:38
6. Magenta Chambers 07:16
7. Soul to the Body 07:58
Total playing time 41:49

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Circle Of Ouroborus



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Crítica @ Satanicarchangel

07 Fevereiro 2014

Really?

After the fantastic Unituli, I was expecting the follow up Eleven Fingers to carry on in the same vein as its predecessor whilst also injecting new life into the bands formula. As every Circle of Ouroborus album I have heard expands upon the ideas laid down in the bands past I don’t consider my expectations unreasonable. Now, whilst Eleven Fingers certainly carries on with the droning and dreamy textures, I can’t help but find it lacking when compared to Unituli.

Eleven Fingers feels as a rehashing of ideas rather than the true successor to Unituli. It seems to me the band thought the ideas of Unituli were good enough to carry on to a follow up album, and whilst I commend them for endearing with this dreamy and textured black metal sound, the overall results are quite sour. The bands later releases have opted for a more layered, ambient sound with textured riffs and fuzzed out vocals, this style of music is something that I much prefer over the bands earlier punk infused black metal. However, with every follow up album, it’s to be expected that the quality would dip, despite this, I was indeed expecting some good quality music and although it has delivered in some regards, it is lacking in other areas.

The main reason why Eleven Fingers is a disappointment is that it does nothing to reinvent the wheel. Unituli added elements of dreamy shoegazing into the bands original atmospheric black metal blueprint, thus succeeding in creating a very powerful and evocative atmosphere. And whilst Eleven Fingers carries on in the dreamy, shoegazer direction, the black metal elements have been considerably dropped. Now, this is not a problem on its own, but Circle of Ouroborus were defined by the synthesis of sharply contrasting genres. Eleven Fingers on the other hand prizes the post-punk and shoegazer elements over all other segments, thus the music lacks much of the intensity found on earlier works and hereby creates something that is too safe for my liking. The band hasn’t really challenged themselves on Eleven Fingers, and although the music is still pretty good in its own right, it never ventures out of its comfort zone.

The actual tone of the music has changed since Unituli, and not all for the better. The dreary yet hopeful approach that Unituli carried has been opted for a more languid, apathetic atmosphere akin to the bands debut. With the bands more layered, ambient approach, this languid tone doesn’t fit entirely well with the music as the bands change in direction has allowed for more emotional expression, therefore reverting back to the tone found on Shores is a gunshot to the foot.

Despite the many negatives I have expressed so far in this review, there are some positives to be found, actually quite a number to be perfectly honest. The melodies themselves are actually enjoyable, the keyboard takes center stage for much of the music whilst the bass guitar lays down continuous notes beneath. And although the tone of the keyboard is quite flat, it sounds well when mixed with the languid atmosphere the band is no doubt trying to create. The ambient textures, though nothing out of the ordinary, are suitably atmospheric and enticing. Warpath has a pretty stellar main melody, the keyboard is suitably catchy and I like the way the bass sounds underneath it, giving more weight and depth to the music, filling out the sound so to speak. Unfortunately though, for much of the pretty melodies this album does contain, the rest of the music often falls foul to uninspired sections and weak song writing. Songs have a tendency to go way past their welcome, often focusing on one single idea and grinding it into the dust. The lack of metal elements means the music has lost its essential edge to it and thus leaves the music feeling shallow and tired. The odd black metal rasp, whilst being good from a technical standpoint, do nothing to compliment the music and thus feel incongruous when mixed with the more ambient delivery of Eleven Fingers. Even the vocals, which showed notable improvement on Tree of Knowledge and reaching their climax on Unituli have reverted back to their original frustrating style that was found on Shores. No longer does Antti Klemi vocalize with conviction, but instead mumbles and croons throughout the entire album, failing to illicit any emotional response rather than mild annoyance.

One part of me can almost appreciate what the band was going for on Eleven Fingers, it feels like a return to the roots album in some regards but also adding the more ambient leanings of the bands later works. I respect that the band are willing and able to experiment with their sound and to take risks, heck I even condone them for doing so, but there’s no excuse for how tired and worn out Eleven Fingers sounds. Even Shores, an album that generally annoyed me, had some life to it, some faster sections, some moments of atmospheric splendor. Eleven Fingers on the other hand tries to recapture the atmosphere that Shores created through the use of their new found ambient style, and whilst at times it almost does come through, especially when Antti Klemmi stops singing for a while and thus allowing the ambiance to take center stage, much of the music fails to recapture the quirkiness of Shores.

I wouldn’t say I dislike Eleven Fingers, it’s not too bad, some of the melodies are great and I appreciate the added focus on ambiance, but the overall atmosphere isn’t as potent as it has been on previous releases and thus succeeds in creating the weakest album of their illustrious career. Give this one a listen if you’re a dedicated fan of the band but those with only a passing interest in Circle of Ouroborus can probably skip it and get Unituli or Tree of Knowledge instead. Disapointing.

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