Natural Born Sinners

Circle of Witches

Italy's CIRCLE OF WITCHES has been alive since 2004, playing a variation of straightforward Heavy […]
By Sean McGuirk
July 9, 2019
Circle of Witches - Natural Born Sinners album cover

Italy's CIRCLE OF WITCHES has been alive since 2004, playing a variation of straightforward Heavy Metal with some vaguely Stoner Rock influences. To illustrate how varied, and often odd, their sound has been over the years, they currently grace the stage in ritualistic pagan garb, yet their last album, titled "Rock The Evil" has a song called "Pussy Juice" on it.  So, clearly, they play on expectations, and if you were expecting anything like "Transvestite Beach Bar," on "Natural Born Sinners," you will be sorely disappointed - and that should be a good thing.  Their third and latest LP is a solid collection of doomy Heavy Metal tunes that have a genuine edge and a lack of irony that makes it a step in the right direction for the group.

The album starts with "Tongue of Misery," a dark and heavy tune, reminding a bit of GRAND MAGUS in its down-tuned melodic styling. Vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter Mario Bove sings with an unaffected authority, with long sustained notes that add a doomy grandeur. "The Black House" retains some of their stoner vibe, with a 1970s SABBATH or HAWKWIND feel. No doom album is complete with a song about a heretical scientist, and "Giordano Bruno" truly delivers. It's a standout, both in its lyrical content, but an excellent chorus that is packed with emotion. "The Oracle" continues on that theme and sees the band taking cues from fellow epic Italian Metal artists like FORSAKEN and MONASTERIUM. A MOTÖRHEAD influence can be heard on the speedy rocker "First Born Sinner" and the playful "Your Predator."

The production is focused on loud and heavy with some huge drums and down tuned riffs that pack on the low end (to the point of audible clipping, even). The bass shines in spots, like during a short break in the last song "You Belong To Witches," but mostly adds to the overall sonic charge. The songwriting is top-notch, with memorable choruses throughout. Just like their head-scratching back catalog, the content here is an odd mix of dark and beer-swigging fun. Though most of the evil on the album is in name and cover design only, there are nonetheless two whole tracks of evil atmospherics / chanting / so forth that stick out as unnecessary. There is however, enough here to recommend this record to fans of those bands I've referenced and anyone looking for some no-frills anthemic Heavy Metal with a touch of sinister. 

7 / 10









"Natural Born Sinners" Track-listing:

1. Tongue of Misery
2. The Black House
3. Giordano Bruno
4. The Oracle
5. First Born Sinner
6. Spartacus (Prophecy of Riot)
7. Your Predator
8. Deus Vult
9. Death to the Inquisitor
10. You Belong To Witches
11. Cult of Baphomet

Circle of Witches Lineup:

Mario "Hell" Bove - Vocals / Guitars
Joe "Wise Man" Dardano - Lead Guitars / Backing Vocals
Tony "Faraway" Farabella - Bass / Backing Vocals
Joey "Helmet" Coppola - Drums

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