Rise and Fall - Our Circle Is Vicious (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Rise and Fall

Our Circle Is Vicious (2009)


With Our Circle Is Vicious, Rise and Fall have created a punishing record of thoughtful hardcore that successfully integrates melody and establishes textures similar to Deathwish heroes Modern Life Is War. However, unlike MLIW, Rise and Fall is especially brooding and heavily drop -tuned; it's a fitting soundtrack for the coldest of autumn nights.

"Soul Slayer" begins as a tension builder via snare drum before breaking down into a twangy riff with touches of delay and lots of excess noise -- a good example of what to expect. The recording is not particularly tight or punchy. Rise and Fall embraces the screeching feedback and gives each guitar track its own template to groove, or bend notes on a whim.

There's quite a decent bit of variety on Our Circle, keeping a great album flow. "Built on Graves" has a melodic, up-tempo (albeit, moody) refrain, while "It's a Long Way Down" has a New York-inspired pummeling breakdown. And while the record does get progressively slower towards the middle, they keep parts interesting by adding nice moments of slight ambience to help the mood. The instrumental "Stillborn" is a sludgy death march that builds the album flow up to speed in time for "A Present Tense." Though the song has a bit of a filler feel (you know, it was getting pretty slow for a bit), it's so unapologetic, it works regardless.

"Knowing" is the real treasure -- five minutes of building and clean guitar that's almost apocalyptic. Considering the volume of the song, it makes you wish the vocalist was a bit more versatile. I could be wrong. That could have totally ruined this record's intensity.

Destructive, droning, dynamic, and lots of depth -- Deathwish has another winner.