Tree of Knowledge

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18/20
Band Name Circle Of Ouroborus
Album Name Tree of Knowledge
Type Album
Data de lançamento 2009
Estilo de MúsicaAvantgardiste Black
Membros têm este álbum4

Tracklist

1. A Root Casket
2. Demon in Iron
3. Show Me the Way to the Wishing Well
4. Twisted Fruit of Doom
5. Dead Eyes, Dead Soul
6. Summer Graves (Instrumental)
7. Puu Nukkuu Haudassaan
8. Through My Fingers

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Circle Of Ouroborus



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Crítica @ Satanicarchangel

07 Fevereiro 2014

The Best One Yet

Ah Circle of Ouroborus, never before have I been so confused over a single band. Streams and Shores were ultimately frustrating listens that mixed in elements that didn’t go well together no matter how hard the band tried in fitting the pieces together. Despite the general awkwardness of those two albums, I found something about their quirky post punk tinged black metal to be somewhat endearing, I admired the passion of the band and thus have kept my eye on them, hoping that they would one day surprise me in releasing something phenomenal; and much to my surprise, they have in the form of Tree of Knowledge.

Tree of Knowledge took me completely by surprise, as I was listening to the albums I owned in chronological order; I wasn’t expecting much of an improvement from the mediocre Streams, if any improvement at all. Thankfully, Circle of Ouroborus have removed their collective heads out of their collective asses and provide the most focus and mature album I have thus far heard from them. The music is still quirky and off beat, yet in favor of the punk tinged influences that were previous on their former works, the band is moving into a darker, more melodic and perhaps gothic direction. Certain aspects of this album bring to mind latter day Shining whilst some even remind me of Katatonia, though much darker and more grueling in approach. Tree of Knowledge sees the band progressing from Streams by dropping more and more of the punk influence and thus focusing on the black metal elements whilst adding elements of more modern takes on black and gothic metal.

The most welcome improvement to the bands sound is by far the change in the vocals. It seems that with each passing release the singer improves more and more, adding a more determined effort to the music and thus enhancing the quality ten fold. Whilst previous albums seemed much more vocal driven, the vocals on Tree of Knowledge are more sparingly used, ironic, since the vocals have no doubt improved in quality and emotional expression. Though the vocals lack some of the drunken quirkiness that defined previous works, they carry more mood and emotion with them thus making the music more atmospheric and depressive.

The musical front, despite not changing much in style from previous releases has certainly improved, with the tone of the music being more determined and mature. Streams, despite being fairly enjoyable felt languid, and created an apparition of a band going through the motions of album creating rather than being spurred on by a passion for the music. Tree of Knowledge is an all together different story, with the music being more energetic as a whole, the band has improved in their synthesis of wildly differing genres and have hereby achieved what they have set out to do. The punk elements are sparser than on previous releases, whilst the compositions have grown decidedly more minimalistic. The punk elements only come to fruition through the vocals whilst the instrumentation focuses on a gothic, perhaps doomy black metal direction. The riffing is much more refined, balancing melodicism with the odd elements of atonality and black metal dissonance creating a fantastic equilibrium between the two contrasting styles. The garage rock feel that the previous albums carried have been considerably dropped, the production has been increased, though only slightly and the overall music feels less amateurish as a result. The guitars are still plenty muddy, distorted and carrying that buzzing effect that the previous albums delivered aplenty. But the clarity of them has been improved, with each note being clearly heard, allowing to chime out of the haze. The increased production allows more room for the bass guitar, being more clearly heard and creating powerful under currents to the walls of guitars.

With Tree of Knowledge the band seems to be aiming for a post-black direction, removing the oddities that plagued their former works whilst still retaining the quirkiness that defined them. Overall, tremendous improvements have been made to the song writing, to the production and most importantly; the vocals. Tree of Knowledge sees the band treading new territories and succeeding as a result, for the entire playing time I was never annoyed, frustrated or had my patience wear thin. I was actually hooked for the entire album, something that Circle of Ouroborus have not achieved in this past. Tree of Knowledge shows the band finally capitalizing on the atmosphere they have always eluded to but have never delivered. Now I only need to check out their other later releases to see if the band has certainly improved or whether this was merely a fluke. Definitely worth the effort of tracking down. Strongly recommended.

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