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Circsena: A Dryad Tale

Circsena formed in 2011 by multi-instrumentalist Daniel Kirchhoff and released their self-titled debut EP in 2013. The Dryad Tale is the German outfit's first full length release. Kirchhoff is joined by drummer Jens Wallis and female vocalist Petra Lübking.

What we have here is dark fantasy metal with elements of folk, black metal and even a bit of pop rock creeping in occasionally. The album is filled to the brim with lush symphonic arrangements, chugging guitar riffs and a nice contrast between male growling vocals and the pretty voice of Lübking. The guitar riffs vary between heavy melodic crunch and tasty acoustics, giving some of these tunes a folky vibe.

The concept tells the story of the Dryads, a mythological race of half man, half tree who have been decimated by humanity. A few do survive and this is their story. The first track "Prologue" is an acoustic guitar led narrative that does a fine job taking the listener into this rather fantastical world. The black metal/folk of "The Strolling Chaos" combines acoustic guitar and gentle keys with heavier riffs and demonic growls. Violin and flute sounds add to this heavily orchestrated tune.

Two of my favourites are the earworm inducing "Examination of the Atrocity" with its melodic electric guitar and almost pop-like arrangement and the slow plodding black metal of "Through Sand and Pain" featuring a Middle Eastern vibe and cool transitions between light and heavier sounds.

My one suggestion for the band is to have the female vocals more forward in the mix as at times they sound a little flat. That said, Lübking has a good voice and I like the fact she shows restraint in reaching for the operatic highs that we hear so often in the genre.

A Dryad Tale is a solid disc from Circsena and shows much promise for the future. Fans of folk inflected fantasy/black metal will find much to enjoy.

Track Listing:
1. Prologue
2. The Strolling Chaos
3. When the Raven Cries pt. 2
4. When the Raven Cries Pt. 3
5. Examination of the Atrocity
6. I Will Prevail
7. Simoon (Interlude)
8. Through Sand and Pain
9. The Audience
10. An Unexpected Encounter
11. Exasperation
12. Queen of the Raging Flood
13. March of the Underwater Legion
14. The Sacrifice
15. Epilogue

Added: May 6th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1898
Language: english

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