Reflections on People of the Black Circle’s Deeply Compelling Debut Album

Image credit: People of the Black Circle Facebook (official)

Image credit: People of the Black Circle Facebook (official)

They call themselves People of the Black Circle, a doom metal band, but what are labels, anyway? Making use of themes and poems of Clark Ashton Smith, Howard Phillips, Lovecraft, and Ervin Howard, People of the Black Circle creates the perfect soundtrack to the themes these poets write on.

We will focus, mostly, on three tracks, the most representative tracks on the album. Well, it is a circle of pleasure one gets to dive into, from the first seconds of their self-titled debut album. An immersive atmosphere of appealing soundwaves. As they say of themselves, “An eerie horror-synth atmosphere.” This atmosphere is what first catches the listener, and something keeps on working endlessly, for there is always something new to get from each second of every track in their record.

The transmutation circle is drawn with the blood that rushes incessantly into your arteries. The listener is the circle, the Black Circle. The alchemy used in “Alchemy of Sorrow” is that of entering a state of self-reflection. Mixing, too, some sounds used by famous bands such as Black Sabbath and Dream Theater, People of the Black Circle make way for what one may call a grandiose recipe to taste the pleasure one isn’t able to access due to so many responsibilities in life deposits onto individuals.

After a six-minute interlude, People of the Black Circle pour out another dose of reflection. This time, they take the listener to watch things from the outside. Listeners will find themselves losing the pulse of time as part of an adventure where they can see themselves on the outside, still, giving them time to ruminate on what they have been able to find within themselves so far.

A different feeling is that one gets from listening to the track, “Nyarlathotep,” a track that begins with a chorus in a cathedral-like atmosphere. A self-reflection journey, where one summons one’s spiritual self, to have a conversation. The heavy half drumbeat leaves enough space for listeners to take mental notes and to read what there is to read from what people do not think of daily, busying themselves with mundane activities, that keep them unaware of what is happening inside.

“Ghosts in Agartha,” with a consuming atmosphere, takes the listener to the abyss, one of the themes most common among the poets the band is influenced by. In the words of Smith, “Chaos was re-established over all.” Seeing that it is the last track in the EP, the listener may feel themselves falling into the abyss after so long a journey climbing up the hills of redemption, and self-awareness. Why, then, would one put so much of oneself into trying to discover the innermost secrets there are inside ourselves only to let it all go to naught with a direct fall into oblivion?

We cannot answer this question for others, but we can invite you, listeners, to find out the answers for yourselves. We recommend vividly you wear your headphones and let yourselves be driven into an adventure of self-discovery; and mind you, in the end, it will be your choice if you want to fall into oblivion, with all your self-consciousness, or if you want to pay for another ticket and take another ride

Image credit: People of the Black Circle Facebook (official)

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