Blinded by the Violence

Connect the Circle

Norway's CONNECT THE CIRCLE formed in 2019, and have already released two previous albums. "Blinded […]
Connect the Circle - Blinded by the Violence album cover

Norway's CONNECT THE CIRCLE formed in 2019, and have already released two previous albums. "Blinded by the Violence" is their third, and contains eight songs. "The Bowhunter" is the first. It has a fast pace, almost Speed Metal in the delivery. But the vocals are clean, and the music is somewhat dissonant. There are some Progressive elements, mostly in the way the rhythms are delivered. "Catch 'em Alive Jack (The Ballad of Teddy Roosevelt)" is also heavy and dissonant, and pig squeals abound in the guitars. There is a slight disconnect at times between the vocals and the music, and it creates a puzzling feeling.

"Bloodsucker" is another aggressive, weighted, and dissonant affair. Again, those often disconnected vocals are really starting to grate on me. Although the band is obviously talented, it detracts from the listening experience. The title track is the first bit of diversity we get on the album, at least in the opening acoustic passage. There are equal parts of minor and major chords, as well as some noticeable keyboard parts. "Blown Away" is a slower moving sound with a better connection among the instruments. The vocals are emotive, but don't really lead you anywhere special. This is decidedly some strange music.

"Nøkken" is a little more of a loose song, sung in the band's native language. At this point on the album, the sound is established, and it is just not pleasing to me. "Return to Earth" has some energy behind the riffs. The vocals connect a little better here as well, especially in the chorus. It has melody. "Beyond Good and Evil" closes the album...a ten-minute opus. Acoustic guitar lead off, but dissonant tones follow quickly. This song has a little more of a linear quality, but the vocals are still off putting. He isn't a bad singer by any stretch of the imagination, but the key he chooses to sing in goes against conventional wisdom. The heavy sequence that follows after the half-way mark is excellent, however.

Overall, this was a strange listening experience. As I mentioned above, the band is clearly talented, and there are no issues there. The main problem is that staggering disconnect from the vocals to the music. It was so pronounced that it was painful to listen to at times. When reviewing an album, I have to remind myself to ask, "who is the audience?" I can't answer that question here.

5 / 10









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"Blinded by the Violence" Track-listing:

1. The Bowhunter
2. Catch`em Alive Jack (The Ballad of Teddy Roosevelt)
3. Bloodsucker
4. Blinded by the Violence
5. Blown Away
6. Nøkken
7. Return to Earth
8. Beyond Good and Evil

Connect the Circle Lineup:

Raymond Smith - Bass
Robert William - Drums
Kenneth Brastad - Guitars
Arild Fevang - Vocals

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