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Avant Garde

Cursed to Eternal Solitude and Despair: “Circles” by BARRENS – Review + Stream

The world hates you and you hate the world. For whatever reason. What do you do? You pack a bag with razor blades, cyanide, rope, a firearm with one bullet and no food or water, and hike out into the wilderness to meet your maker, leave the world behind, never turning back, and kiss it goodbye forever. The music contained in Circles by the Italian one-man depressive slowcore band BARRENS would be the perfect soundtrack to such a scenario.  I mean, when you run into a slowcore band with a black metal logo (and obvious influences), what else can you expect, if not the sound of solitude, depression, angst, loneliness and complete loss filling every cell of your body with a lethal injection of infectious and distant melodies of total and overbearing sadness and despair? That’s exactly what you get with Circles.

Little under twenty minutes, for two tracks of totally collapsed will to keep living and existing expressed through beautiful and mournful weeps of slow rock, folk, ancient doom, ambient, minimalistic black metal, post-rock and ancient echoes of Native American and tribal vibrations. The atmosphere gets haunted and damned as BARRENS‘ laments and tortured howls seep into your soul flooding it with sadness and despair and dragging it to a far away place of compete solitude and loneliness. It’s like being subjected to massive doses of Slowdive, Low, Angels of Light, King Dude, Chelsea Wolf, Wovenhand, Mournful Congregation, Circle of Ourobors and Burzum all at once. You are literally buried in loneliness and despair by this music. I sat down with this EP on my own on multiple occasions and went through the whole thing without interruption each time, and each time, once the listening ended, I awoke from a frightening state of angst and depression, being thankful I was alive, and that there are many reasons to live still, something this music has none of. Simply beautiful.


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