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Circle of Dust
Machines of Our Disgrace
Release Date: December 9, 2016
Klayton’s resurrection of Industrial pioneers Circle of Dust has easily been the most interesting part of 2016 for me musically. Revisiting the band’s catalog, as well as the Argyle Park and Metamorphosis side projects, has been a trip for me as they were one of the most important bands of the 90’s in my own little world. Machines of Our Disgrace had a lot of expectation placed on it, after all, I had just revisited the band’s masterworks and Klayton’s work as Celldweller has significantly raised the bar since we last heard from Circle of Dust.
Opening with the short, but powerful, “Reengage” intro (made even cooler by the fact that the last thing we heard from COD was Disengage right?!) the album begins firing on all cylinders right away with the title track. “Machines of Our Disgrace’s” cutting, buzzsaw guitars and intrusive samples scream from the speakers and serve as ample notice to newcomers that COD and Celldweller are not the same beast. This song encapsulates everything that I love about the band and re-establishes them wholeheartedly right out of the gate.
Of course, the previously heard “Contagion” is another highlight here as well, leaning into the heaviness that separated the band from its peers without losing the electro sounds that make them unique to this day. “Humanarchy” takes the heavy to another level as Klayton barks the lyrics with Tommy Victor style while still allowing the melodies to soar over top the staccato guitar riffing. “Alt_Human” is another excellent moment, building like a pressure cooker while brilliantly interweaving the dancier electronics with the Metal tornado that old school fans expect. The more melodic “Hive Mind” (clocking in at nearly 6 minutes) follows it like the other side of a coin. It’s more anthemic nature is an explosive moment on the album that sets the stage for the Depeche Mode/mid-career Duran Duran-ish “Outside In.”
I could go on for days about how much I love this album. It has barely left my player since I received it and it is far and away my favorite record of 2016. This is a powerful reentry statement from Klayton. I’m not sure what role it plays in his future but a world with Celldweller and Circle of Dust is the world I want to live in. Fans of Industrial music will drool all over this one. They just don’t make’em like this anymore people.
Reviewed by mark1340