The first thing you notice about the new 20 Buck Spin release from heavy metal act Magic Circle is the glorious cover artwork from Joe Petagno (Motörhead, Mammoth Grinder, Autopsy), which is actually an unused print from the artist dating all the way back to 1979. The music on Journey Blind reeks of similar vintage, as the band take their inspiration from classic Black Sabbath, Trouble, Saint Vitus, Witchfinder General, Armored Saint, and most of the NWOBHM. There are some noteworthy songs here, most of which are fairly lengthy and pack plenty of crushing riffs & soaring vocals. "The Damned Man" is especially thrilling, with delightfully potent doom riffs that instigate instant air guitar, while both "Journey Blind" and "A Ballad For the Vultures" take epic doom to new heights. "Lightning Cage" and "Ghosts of the Southern Front" pick up the pace a bit, each one a mix of Trouble styled rollicking doom and the more groove laden sounds of the modern stoner scene, and you'll be reminded of early Soundgarden with the deep riffs and powerful vocal wailing of "Antediluvian", a more than solid track to close out this enjoyable set of heavy hitters.
Journey Blind more than packs a serious punch throughout its seven tunes, as it delivers modern sounds with a healthy nod to some of the greats of the past.
1) Journey Blind
2) The Damned Man
3) A Ballad For The Vultures
4) Lightning Cage
5) Ghosts Of The Southern Front
6) Grand Deceivers