Eons ago when I was in high school one of my best friends, and one of the gentlest souls I knew, got cross-wise with a guy from whom all gentleness had been purged. He hit my friend in the mouth with a brick. It shattered his front teeth and left him shrieking on the ground, his face a river of blood. It was the most violent thing I had witnessed up to that point in my life. That disturbing vision came back to me as I listened to Voluntary Torture.
This debut album by the Belgian band Seventh Circle consists of a dozen compact bouts of mauling mayhem and morbid misery. The cover art is a good match for the music, which comes at your throat with teeth spread wide, fury engaged, all hope purged.
The album will be released on vinyl by the Soaked In Torment label, who recommends it for fans of Nails, Trap Them, All Pigs Must Die, Integrity, Rotten Sound, and Full Of Hell. It combines blackened hardcore, brutal death/grind, and a relentlessly desolate outlook on life (displayed quite vividly through the song titles) to produce the audio equivalent of a brick to the teeth and an A-grade adrenaline spike right in the brainstem. You can (and should) listen to it through our premiere below. Continue reading »