Review by
Chaim Drishner

Not unlike Darkness Eternal's 2005 monumental release _Misanthropic Annihilation_, the American one-man band The Wakedead Gathering draws parallels in sound and atmosphere to the aforementioned Canadian death metal beast, who is also a single-person outfit. Both display a cranium-splitting heaviness, both have a crude, unrefined sound and both walk the line between brutal, slow, doom-ish death metal and the aesthetic darkness of black metal. While Darkness Eternal captures the more guttural sound of death metal and infuses it with an industrial sonic aura, The Wakedead Gathering has gone a different path, adopting a sinister, occult facade, embodied in the oriental guitar segments, the slower doom/death mood setting moments, the excellent lyrical themes and the opening of the EP, where Mr. Lampe, the sole musician, cites ceremonial or magickal spells in a language that could be anywhere between ancient Sumerian and H.P. Lovecraft's invented, nonsensical language of the Necronomicon.
Oscillating between the belching cookie monster vocals and a more screeched, hissing black metal vocal approach, this 22 minutes recording has got some phenomenal moments of Mid-Eastern riffs coupled with downright dirty death metal attacks in the Bolt Thrower tradition of low toned and abrasive as hell guitars and mid-paced hammering, dizzying the listener with the hook-less melodies and the strangulating, devouring ambiance.
A crowded, unfriendly mini album whose restless nature confuses with its changing tempos, highs and lows, ups and downs, crests and pits; with its wriggling, elusive melodics and its deep, dark essence. Mister Andrew Lampe has identified the core of spiritual death metal and with unmerciful lashes he charges upon the listener with waves upon waves of dramatic, enigmatic, assaults of aural depravity and decay.
_Dark Circles_ will reward the patient listener with the insidious and the obvious, the ephemeral and the earth-bound, and while still an extremely robust death metal offering through and through -- aiming for the grievous bodily harm -- they who listen carefully, could find themselves opening a portal to otherworldly realms.
"Rare Mortal Wanderers / Obtain the Walls of the Temple Austere / No Grand Entrance, Telepathic Envoy in Disguise / Now See Thyself".
[7,5 out of 10]


Review by
Concrete Web

The label I, Voidhanger gave us the honourful opportunity to load down a handful of recordings that were officially released on October 16th of the long-forgotten year 2012. I do have the honour to listen to this stuff and, despite two boxes filled with new material still waiting to be reviewed, I’ll try to write down my subjective yet, of course, intensively professional and thrilling opinion ‘bout them as soon as possible.
I’ll start with this one: the mini-album (21:13) Dark Circles by Cincinnati, Ohio-based project The Wakedead Gathering, a one-man army by Andrew Lampe. This release might be considered some foretaste to the upcoming full length (title?), or the re-release of the limited, somewhat unfinished 2010-debut Tenements Of Ephemera. Personally I am very sad for not having had the opportunity to listen to that debut album (yet), but what I’m experiencing right now with this mini-album is truly orgiastic!
Mainly slow-downed yet energetic Old Skool Death Metal with a horrific, foul sound, twisted melodies and an obscure atmosphere. The early years of Death, Autopsy or, especially (last but not least): Incantation and Immolation might be a reference? And what if I add with: ‘a subtle hint of Swedish / German / Dutch grandeur’ (read: everything in between Asphyx, Morgoth and Dismember)?...
No, seriously, this sounds promising, so I do really look forward to listen to the upcoming full length (and if possible, the re-release of The Wakedead Gathering’s debut studio work)!
[95 out of 100]