Artist:Circle of Dust
Label: Flying Tart Records/Polygram, 1998
Time: 16 tracks 63:45
It is an extreme understatement to say that this is a long-awaited
album. After releasing their self-titled record way back in 1992, Circle
of Dust has been almost non-existent. Sure, the genius behind Circle
of Dust, Scott Albert, may have been a part of a number of other projects
in one way or another (Brainchild, Argyle Park, Klank). And true,
the original Circle album was redone in 1995 with a few new songs, but
on the whole, it would seem as if Circle of Dust was left in the dust for
five years. Until now.
Disengage also comes across as lyrically mysterious. In the opening track, "Waste of Time," the listener may be left wondering to whom the song is directed:
Nothing left for me to say -- it's just a waste of time
I listen to your words replay -- forever in my mind
Shut your mouth and go away -- it's just a waste of time
Assume your places in the scoffer's seat
Consuming hatred you hide behind
While it is a shame that this is the end of the entity that legitimized Christian industrial music, Klay Scott has given fans a lovely last show before dropping the final curtain on Circle of Dust.
By Jeremy Choi
Klay Scott, or whatever he decides to call himself this week, gives what may be his farewell performance as Circle of Dust in Disengage. I have to say that while I like this, I don't think it is as good as Brainchild.
The music itself is as gripping and technically excellent as before, but most of those lovely samples that really made things shine and gave that poignant flavor to the music are not evident here. I was really looking forward to hear what audio clips Klay would use this time. Without the samples to support the music a la Brainchild, the success or failure of Disengage rests solely on Klay's considerable skill as a musician. It has a heavier edge and sound than earlier releases, but without the samples, it just doesn't have that take-your-breath-away fascination. Even on a bad day, though, Circle of Dust is better than most of the stuff out there in the Christian or secular markets.
Lyrically and musically, three themes are revisited constantly throughout the album -- "Refractor," "Chasm," and "You are Fragile." This gives the entire project a unity and flow that I have come to associate with Klay and Circle of Dust's music. The three themes blend together to give us a view into Klay's soul. We can hear his cries of pain as he desperately searches for God through the struggles he has faced. The imagery is very strong here, but I'll leave it up to the listener to decide whether or not Klay succeeded.
As usual, Klay's production is flawless. If he has to give up doing Circle of Dust, I hope he will continue to produce. His production capabilities and his musical talent have improved both Klank and Living Sacrifice. If he does continue to produce, we can be hopeful for the future of heavy Christian music. I will enjoy Disengage, but I find myself listening to Brainchild more. For someone's first taste of Circle of Dust, this will be a big hit, but for those of us who are already big Circle of Dust fans, this seems like a sad way to say goodbye to a "band" we have come to love.