The Circle Shuts


The publicity break for this German based band happened in the very beggining after the […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
September 24, 2008
Squealer - The Circle Shuts album cover

The publicity break for this German based band happened in the very beggining after the release of their debut Under The Cross. Actually, JUDAS PRIEST offered the band an opening act slot for the tour that followed. Things were looking great but the tragic event of the death of Andy Allendorfer (also the boss of AFM Records) in a car accident seemed to be the end of SQUEALER. The band tried and managed to regroup by recruiting the ex-GRIP INC singer Gus Chambers. With the new singer SQUEALER A.D. (they added A.D. to honor the departed singer) released the Thrasher Confrontation Street introducing some GRIP INC influences.
The Circle Shuts is the new album from the German band that features Norbert Vornam (ex-MIND-ASHES) behind the mic who brought some fresh air (sound) in SQUEALER's music. This fresh air can be translated in terms of the additional melodic lines found almost everywhere. Don't be frigthened by the term melody since the songs are still riff based with direct references to GRIP INC. Just like in the opening track, The Sources Of Ignition, comprising a riff based structure and compact drum work. Although, SQUEALER lost some attitude and aggression points after spliting ways with Chambers but they definately earned the ability to write more flexible/diverse music. The bridge in Mask Of The Betrayer is an excellent proof of my saying; the staccato headbanging rhyhtm gives its place to the high pitched clean vocals that actually fit the music change like a glove.  Vornam prove his worth in the slow tempo Grey with the very good vocal harmonies clearly expanding the composing potential of the band.
 Among the album highlights we found Thrasher that proves its name with fast drumming and cutting edge riffs for a nice neck warm-up, the groovy almost ballad I Came For You and the ICED EARTH-esque Martyrs Of The Half Moon (think of the Burnt Offerings era). The album comes with a very good, powerful production and a Thrash fitting bass guitar sound courtesy of the Gernhart (mixing) and the Finnvox (mastering) Studios.
All in all, The Circle Shuts is a very good Thrasher that seems to take SQUEALER to the next level leaving behind the darkest moment in their biography. Personally, I feel that this album is part of a transition period for the Germans who I bet will sound more confident in their next discographic step. Until that day and if GRIP INC are your cup of tea then you can definately enjoy this one.

6 / 10

Had Potential

"The Circle Shuts" Track-listing:

The Sources Of Ignition
Mask Of The Betrayer   
New Saviour
These Urges
Martyrs Of The Half Moon
I Came For You
Once Fallen   
The Circle Shuts

Squealer Lineup:

Norbert Vornam - Vocals
Michael Schiel - Guitar
Lars Doring - Guitar
Michael Kaspar - Bass
Martin Buchwalter - Drums

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