Arctic Circle Forcing the Astral

A new force in the already impressive Canadian war metal scene, Manitoba’s Arctic Circle have put together a very impressive debut with Forcing the Astral. About as raw as one wants production sounds to get, the drums scrape and slide, the manic and moody riffing sounds great, and the vocals, well, they’re just kind of there. The overall sound is raw black with lots of crazy extreme thrash, a combination of sounds that I suppose becomes war metal eventually. The cover art looks pretty demo-ish, but the tunes show a band totally on top of their game. You’d never guess these are pretty young dudes. But then again, considering the energy and liveliness this album throws out, maybe it makes perfect sense. Luckily, the album mercifully lasts just under half an hour, so by the time your abused and violated ears can take no more, silence prevails. A band to watch, and with Profound Lore being a rising Canadian underground label to watch, it’s a match made in metal hell. And, mainly, I just love that drum sound. (Profound Lore)