Saturday 20 June 2020

Circle Of Sighs - SALO (Album Review)

Release date: June 19th 2020. Label: Pillars of Creation Rkds. Format: Cassette/CD/DD

SALO – Tracklisting

1.Burden of the Flesh 05:37
2.Segue-01 01:18
3.Hold Me, Lucifer 06:08
4.Kukeri 09:08
5.Desolate 06:17
6.Segue-02 02:19
7.The Man Machine [Kraftwerk cover] 06:03
8.Unicorn Magic/Segue-03 10:11
9.Salo 05:10


Salo is the debut album by ultra-mysterious collective Circle Of Sighs. The Press Release didn’t advise who makes up this great band and I couldn’t find any information of any kind. That maybe a good thing as this album works in it’s own heavy and mysterious way.

Circle Of Sighs are a Psychedelic Doom Metal Band that makes for quite an unsettling experience in places. The album can be interpreted in many different ways with the band playing a vast array of different styles of music influenced by works of David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Uformammut, YOB and Neurosis. So expect a more emotional style of Doom Metal with the band thriving on experimenting with many different themes and sounds especially when they add an Electronic Synth to their overall sound.

Salo is quite a dark and experimental album which each song telling a different story but all bound together by a highly experimental style of Emotional based Doom Metal.Circle Of Sighs show a deep love and respect for David Bowie and Kraftwerk on this album that it becomes part of the albums DNA.

The instrumental work is wonderfully eerie and offbeat which makes it such a more interesting album to listen with Circle Of Sighs being one of the most weirdest bands I’ve came across this year. The vocals are surreal with the lyrics adding a more nightmarish feel to them. The album even channels some 60s/70s Psychedelia on certain parts of the album and I wasn’t even expecting that.

I would love to do a song-by-song review for this album but I struggled to even do that. So I’m taking this album as one epic song split into 9 individual chapters which may test the patience of some listeners. This is more of an Avant-Garde Doom Metal Album compared to what other Doom Metal albums. Though, there is still some great sounding progressive riffs held on the album.

Standout songs include – “Burden Of The Flesh”, “Hold Me, Lucifer”, “Kukeri” and “Unicorn Magic/Segue-03” though one of my favourite songs has to be the band’s cover of Kraftwerk classic – The Man Machine. This version is quite different and remarkably similar to the original and it’s good to see Circle Of Sighs putting their own spin on such an iconic song.

Psychedelic Occult/Doom Rockers - High Priestess – are involved with this album in a way. As Katie Gilchrest mixed and mastered the album. Katie does a fantastic job making Circle Of Sigh’s music quite real and deeply fantastical in places. Mariana Fiel (bassist of High Priestess) provided photography for this album. Maybe I could ask Katie or Mariana who are the musicians behind this mysterious entity. Though, I won’t. As that will detract from the mystery behind this great album.

Salo is a wonderfully creative and emotionally thrilling album that has many cool surprises if you’re willing to invest your time with the album.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe