Encyrcle – Encyrcle (Unspeakable Axe Records)

Thursday, 28th May 2015
Rating: 8.5/10

You have to love descriptive language in the metal genre these days. Active since 2012, Danish quintet Encyrcle describe their sound on their Facebook page as ‘nocturnal speed metal’. Does that mean it only comes alive at night? Whatever the case, prepare to add another five-piece of youthful musicians intent on delivering an old school brand of traditionally flavored speed metal that fits in perfectly with the recent breed of European talent like Evil Invaders, Ranger, and Stallion – possibly expanding a touch into the Mercyful Fate-like epic elements throughout these 11 tracks.

High octane picking from guitarists S Kelm and S Rose sets up the faster material like “To the End” and “Dizzy Me Deadly”, smartly executed trade-offs, harmonies, and double-ups that bring to mind the best Denner-Shermann licks from MF circa 1983. Shorter instrumental and intros add to the throwback atmosphere and mystique- “Chronoboros” and “Serpent’s Dream” using added texture of pianos and bells to signal the next heavy salvo. Even though Encyrcle is a speed band at heart, the mid-tempo changes and galloping/ marching riffs promote fist in the air, crowd chanting antics – check out the slower build-up of “Deathlust” (Maiden would be proud) and the 8:32 “Black Dust” for some serious interplay and exciting musicianship that brings you to the primal core essence of traditional metal’s denim and leather enduring appeal.

Vocalist N. Hydra may not necessarily be considered the most piercing singer in the genre – as his delivery is more along epic terrain a la Visigoth or Manilla Road, but there are times where he will go for the upper scream for additional goose bump effectiveness. Overall though, this self-titled record succeeds because of its honest, to the bones approach – non-compromising and occasionally throwing in a surprise blast beat section or black metal upper string action to remind you that Encyrcle appreciate a wide swath of sub-genres.

Revel in their sickle oriented band logo and this rejuvenation of newer speed metal – and we can only hope that sincerity wins out over bubbling trendiness.

Encyrcle on Facebook