This is dark, violent Hardcore with a D-Beat element.
There’s a tendency at the moment for dark Hardcore bands to have a Blackened influence, (like Flesh Born and Protestant, for example), which I’m all for as it sounds great, and although Dark Circles fit in well with this style, they’re also different; they have a very obvious Punk background that mixes with the Blackened influences to sound warped, disturbed and evil in their own charismatic way.
The best word to describe Dark Circles is hostile. Really, really hostile.
The guitar sound is utterly abrasive and seems sharp and rough enough to do some real damage. On top of this the acid vocals spew all kinds of hatred and venom, so much so that you begin to wonder if the singer is in fact human at all. It’s a visceral display of hostility, (yes, there’s that word again).
There’s a boat-load of aggression here for sure, but it’s not a wild, killing rage; this is focused and tight, and all the more lethal for it.
These songs channel what must be a never-ending rage into coherent and dangerous-sounding songs that have more to them than initially meets the eye. The Blackened, harsh melodies and the angular, piercing riffs don’t just exist to assault the listener; there is method and intent to these tracks, the key to which is the quality songwriting.
Energy, enthusiasm and dynamics are displayed in abundance, and the band know how to pace themselves. They never let up the intensity though, as even in the rarer moments of reflection and almost Post-Metal darkness that they occasionally slip into for short moments, there’s still the rage and hatred, briefly and barely tethered whilst the band collectively get ready to resume their terror strikes once more.
This is almost 26 minutes of state-of-the-art Blackened Hardcore horror. Yes, it’s an essential listen for anyone who likes this kind of thing.
Turn the volume up, turn the lights out and let your anger take over. Dark Circles are here to guide you.