Local five-piece Buried in Verona’s debut album Circle the Dead is a brutal offering. On the whole it is an impressively polished album, full of solid metal/metalcore goodness; genre-politics aside it is sure to cement their place on the thriving Aussie metal scene.
Precision-guided riffs from a twin guitar attack build the melodrama and provide the back-bone for the majority of the tracks. Brett Anderson’s vocals are for the most part ferocious, though a little more melody and variety in their delivery would have kept things more interesting, then again given their ‘metalcore’ tag this is not unexpected. The guitars are kept in line by the thunderous double-kick drums that are unrelenting, descending into the obligatory breakdown sections that will no doubt please kids in the mosh-pit when they play live.
While quirky track names like “Can I Borrow a Feeling” (surely a homage to the pain of The Simpson’s perennial loser Kirk van Houten’s similarly named song) show their sense of humour, the lyrical content doesn’t really inspire, with most tracks following predictable self-pity and angsty themes. But hey, since when was metal supposed to be deep and meaningful? They give fans everything they could hope for: heavy as fuck riffage, screamo vocals and well-thought-out intricate song structures that deliver angry fun across each of the tracks. However, the graphic suicidal CD cover art is a little over the top — perhaps the irony of it all was lost on me.
Standout tracks include the bone-crushing opener, “Five bullet Russian Roulette” and the more commercial sounding “Taken to the Light”. “For Darker Days” channels old Metallica Master of Puppets-esque 80’s thrash, with the guitars demolishing all in their path. While somewhat derivative and predictable at times, Circle the Dead is a slickly produced debut album that will no doubt raise the profile of the young Sydney outfit.