Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tribe of Circle - Children of a Weakened God (2006)

The new Tribe Of Circle album has been a long time coming. Closing the trilogy begun with “Rien Ne Disparait Jamais Vraiment....” in 2000 musician Jean-Paul Antelmi returns with a fresh offering of bombastic looping exaltations. “Children of a Weakened God” continues the exploration of man, religion and God that was introduced in the two proceeding chapters. The third and final chapter in this industrial exploration of man and faith focuses upon the concept of God in the modern world. This discussion is one that fits well with martial emphasis given the radicalization of religious beliefs we are witnessing on all sides of the world today.

The offerings of “Rien Ne Disparait Jamais Vraiment....” and “The Advent of Redemption” came to many of us at a time when the martial industrial sound was just establishing a foothold in the post industrial landscape. Now six years later Tribe Of Circle attempts to impress once more. The only question is whether the bands six years of dormancy have lost them the essential element of relevance. In the six years since the last Tribe of Circle album the martial industrial vein of music has exploded with a wide variety of new acts and labels redefining the scene and expanding the breadth and width of sound it has come to encompass.

When I played “Children of a Weakened God” I was immediately struck by the similarity in the songs structure with the previous albums by Tribe of Circle. This immediately put me on guard as I was not anticipating such similarity but was anxiously anticipating a new direction that would part from the rather repetitive sound of previous albums. As the album unfolded it became clear that though the same song structure and emphasis on looped sound and orchestral samples was still present Jamias had indeed managed to breathe new life and drama into this already familiar format.

The songs collected for “Children of a Weakened God” carry the listener through a sacral battlefield of mechanized, industrial sounds and gushing choruses emphasized by thundering drums and invigorating percussion. The songs structures show true maturation as Jamias has learned to build the songs gradually without smothering the listener in a congestion of samples and sound. The songs feel more open in general and carry a similar strength to previous offerings with less instrumental weight. And though the coveted emphasis on dramatic compositions is still apparent Jamias also now gives equal time to exploring more lethargic songs with an emphasis on atmospheric impressions and dark ambient mood setting music that gently hypnotizes the listener. Vacillating between droning passages of industrialized masses and confidential confessions and the onslaught of conflict driven cataclysm Tribe Of Circle drives the listener through a terrain of ideology and sound that knows no master.

Jamias captures the force of religion as manifested through a multifaceted analysis of humanity and faith. Songs veer between seducing the listener in introspective moments of spiritual self-reflection while others songs unleash the force of mass religion and the power it wields amidst faithful populations. The power of the music matches the task of describing the experience of religion, revelation, inner conflict, and worldly conquest. The music of Tribe Of Circle has never shied away from the harsh reality of religion and the concept of God as a force of war and oppression and this can be readily felt within the marital moments of the music. To discuss God in the modern world one must confront the specter of God and war. Man has waged war in God’s name since we have known religion. Today the willingness of radical believers to kill one another and those who they see as non-believers is a defining ideology in many parts of the world and in many conflicts around the world. Killing and violence in God’s name is becoming synonymous with religion and Tribe Of Circle is not one to turn a blind eye to this reality.

It is pleasing to report that after the nearly six year hiatus Tribe of Circle is as relevant as the day the band debuted. I would encourage those familiar with the band to secure a copy of the new album if you have not already. Those new to martial industrial music who missed this bands offering six years ago are encouraged not to miss the train this time. Tribe of Circle has found a home on the now infamous Hau Ruck label for good reason. This is the voice of the French martial music scene!

Review taken from Heathen Harvest.

01 - The Land of Fallen Suns
02 - Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum
03 - Children of a Weakened God (Dii Minores)
04 - Algolagnia... Spaltung... Delight
05 - Alea Jacta Est
06 - Coranic Submission Part 2 (Sourat XLVII - Verses - 1:21)
07 - Freres Humains... Freres Ennemis
08 - Tablu Rasa
09 - L'Une ou l'Autre de nos Failles
10 - In Dulci Iubilo


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