Encircle - Into The Dreamstate Album Review

Encircle - Into The Dreamstate [Full-length]
January 11, 2013 - unknown

'Into The Dreamstate' is the second album from one-man solo project Encircle, released in early 2013. Back then, I was just getting acquainted with the Djent scene, knowing just a handful of bands and absorbing everything like a sponge, be it exceptional or mediocre. This record was one of the ones that really caught my ear with its exceptional sound and masterful writing. After almost two years, this still gives me goosebumps after every listen.

The sound on this album is simply bone-breaking. The raw heaviness of the riffs makes them sound very aggressive with a nice edge to them, but it's not all 0's and 1's. There's a lot of solo work here as well, and let me tell you, it's exceptional (check out An Awful Image of Calm Power, dear lord.). The album kicks off with an ambient-ish intro track 'Instances' which prepares the listener and builds up anticipation for the monster of an album. The next two tracks, 'When The Colors Bleed Away' and 'Into The Dreamstate', are a sheer 400 m/ph blast. Blastbeats, face-melting riffage and general awesomeness. The latter track slowly mists away into an acoustic melody, which comprises the next track, 'You Were The Tempest'. It is a full acoustic breaker on the album and it is just beautiful. It may get a bit repetitive as a single song, but in a larger scale it acts as a great interlude.

I won't go on discussing every song I detail because that would take ages, but what really did stand out was the aforementioned 'An Awful Image of Calm Power'. It is truly the pinnacle for this album, as it has one of the crunchiest riffs I've ever heard, but the most important part is the recurring solo which blends the heavy aspects of Encircle with beautiful, soaring melodies which I can't stop humming for months now. If not the whole album, this song definitely deserves a listen from anyone.

Sarah Longfield, Dan Wieten, Mark Hawkins, Chris Vogagis and one of my all-time favorite artists Plini make guest appearances throughout the record, which makes it all the more special. The one-and-only downside of this album to me, was the fact that it's hard to listen to. The music here is too tiring, sometimes even downright exhausting, making it complicated to listen to the album cover to cover. It may not be the same way for others but I had trouble absorbing this album as a whole on its first listen, as the whole second half just seemed more of the same, which, of course, it isn't.
'Into The Dreamstate' is available for free on Bandcamp and I highly suggest you give it a shot. You will have a blast with this miracle (Periphery pun intended).