01. A Family Tree to Hang From
02. We Wear the Gimp Mask
03. Salt Rock Eyes
04. Bring Her a Mushroom Cloud pt. 01
05. No Tolerance for Silence
06. Destiny of the Slug
08. Harvest at Dawn (enter fertility)
09. Corsage of Fresh Meat and Rotted Pride
10. Oak and Iron
11. Mother Pig
13. King Cobra vs. Queen Bee
14. The Buzzard Blizzard
15. White Trash Headache
16. Shadow of the Narcissist
17. Bring Her a Mushroom Cloud pt. 02
18. My Supernatural (bells ring slowly)
2003 Martyr Music Group
After a couple of records for Willowtip and last year’s Necropolis Records release "Starving the Vultures," Circle of Dead Children has found yet another home in Martyr Music Group. Undoubtedly the most unfitting collaboration yet as Martyr hasn’t been a melting pot for extreme music since their Broken Hope Grotesque Blessings release which spawned the label a few years back. They’ve been treading on atmospheric metal waters as of late, sounding more like Dark Symphonies, than the Relapse style that Circle of Dead Children purvey. Perhaps 2003 will be the year this label does a complete 180 and finally starts releasing quality extreme metal that people will actually give a shit about
Circle of Dead Children’s latest grind opus "Human Harvest" isn’t by any means a groundbreaking album. It is however the best release of their career. So take that as you will. This is a band that most will absolutely hate. They tell shit as it is with their grind/gore inspired lyrics that speak the truth with gore undertones. Musically, this band reminds me of Cattle Decapitation, where as they aren’t spectacular by any means, but get the job done. Until now though, I’ve never given a flying shit about CODC. "Human Harvest" is good stuff, and as hard as Joe Horvath’s vocals are to stomach, it’s disgustingly brutal throughout.
Circle of Dead Children, up to this release, were a five piece. They dropped the second guitarist and bassist and are now a prominent three piece grind assault. Circle melds influences of grind, death, crust, doom, thrash and hardcore into a blender and the outcome is a delicious uproar of chaotic frustration. These are 19 songs which are best taken while on narcotics, otherwise your head will spin out of control. The length is especially inviting as the destruction ends in just 36 minutes. Particularly ominous is the warning that “this record may contain backwards and/or hidden messages,” printed adjacent to the track list on the back of the album.
My main problem with this record isn’t the fact that Circle doesn’t have a bassist, which could be a major problem for some. It’s the fact that the guitars are too low in the mix. I wish bands would stop mastering with the same engineer (Steve Austin in this case) that recorded or mixed the band’s record. It’s not smart and it never sounds like it “could.” It’s happened on "Human Harvest" and it’s happened for years with bands across the globe. I just think if you’re going to spend several hundred dollars on mastering, why not go to a decent studio and get that done by someone who can bring a new ear to the table. It can only serve to benefit your band in the end.
Bottom Line: Like I stated earlier, anyone into rough production is going to dive-bomb their local record store as soon as this hits the shelves. Anyone who is into tight, slightly overproduced Nasum-style production is going to curl up into a ball and die as soon as they hear the muffled guitar. These guys are so damn close to releasing a great record it almost makes me sick at the fact that they didn’t this time around.