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Clowning around in this circus isn't likely - 83%

slayrrr666, August 12th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Independent

The fourth album from German thrashers Delirious, “Moshcircus,” tends to fall in line with previous efforts of not really doing anything new or original with the material at hand but does offer some enjoyable moments throughout.

For the most part, this one tends to run along through a fairly standard run-down of their old-school thrash sound. Relying mostly on their Bay-Area influences throughout here, the guitars for the most part employ that solid, heavy crunch to the material here that keeps things mid-tempo but still quite capable of reaching faster tempos here that are quite enjoyable and infectious for there’s a lot that could be done with them. Certainly the crunch here is capable of generating the intense and hard-hitting rhythms that are necessary for this kind of Bay Area imitation which is found for the most part throughout here a vast majority of up-tempo efforts, but also going for more of a mid-tempo feel here loaded with melody. This mainly gets featured in the outstanding solo sections here which come through in fine form with blazing melodies and leads that off-set the more generous thrashing found elsewhere surrounding these tracks and making for a rather enjoyable experience going from the hard-charging thrash to the more melodic undertones. Rather curiously this attack is dropped in the second half here for a curious decision to make the riffing more groove-centered which drops the crunchy attack significantly to the point of its mid-tempo ferocity feeling more like Alternative Metal in some respects than out-and-out thrash, but there’s still a solid base of old-school thrashing to keep it from straying too far. With some dexterous drumming blasting out some pounding rhythms when necessary and a varying vocal attack that mixes nicely into the overall arsenal, this one here is overall rather enjoyable enough.

These are all enough to offer this one a fairly solid experience as the fact that the album does suffer a few flaws does detract here somewhat. The most notable one is found in the band’s overall base of attack, relying on Bay Area influences in their music which tends to come off as rather pedestrian and not at all that original. The mid-tempo focus here doesn’t really allow for much of anything new or interesting to occur from the rhythms or riffing throughout here, and the general feeling throughout here tends to come off as rather familiar. It’s all pretty much been done before, and done with better interest or different influences elsewhere which can lead to this one not really tending to exploit all that it really wants to with the different elements making this one feel this much like an imitation of the better efforts in the genre. Likewise, the band also has a rather odd habit of stacking the album so much in the top-half that minus a few moments here and there, the second half doesn’t really offer much of anything to the listener. The music is certainly rousing and thrashing in the first half, and it continues again in the last two tracks on display, but the middle segments leading into those parts aren’t all that much packed with anything that offer much of anything here with bland tracks, overwrought and overlong epics and the tendency to drop the thrash for the mid-tempo grooves throughout here which aren’t in the slightest bit up to par with the traditional thrash pieces elsewhere. It seems like a nice fit to place them all together in one section of the album rather than scattering them around, but there’s the fact that running through the album from start-to-finish this part of the album does lag. These here are what really end up holding this one back.

The first half to this is packed with a series of solid, highly enjoyable thrashers. Opening effort ‘Circus of Mosh’ features whimsical circus music amid tolling bells and apocalyptic screaming with fevered sounds of tearing flesh set the stage for the onslaught to continue on. Proper first track ‘Drowning in Your Own Blood’ starts with hard-charging riff-work and pounding drumming race through up-tempo rhythms swirling with more mid-tempo chugging patterns with complex leads and screaming vocals leading into the fiery melodic leads of the solo section that keeps the mid-tempo riffing along into the dynamic final half for a solid, enjoyable thrasher to lead this off with. Another stand-out in ‘I Can't Resist’ offers pounding drumming and swirling riffs lead into a tight, fiery crunch filled with dexterous drumming running along the mid-tempo patterns with dynamic chorus-work with the fiery crunch leading into the dynamic solo section bristling with melodic leads and frantic rhythms that features into the hard-charging finale for a rather blasting, energetic track. The blistering ‘Toxic Trace’ uses furious razor-wire riffing and blasting drumming careen through blistering up-tempo rhythms with scalding riff-patterns charging through the first half with plenty of up-tempo riff-work and pounding drumming that goes for the more mid-tempo crunch in the second half as the fiery, extended solo section filled with tight melodies that work back into the fine mid-tempo crunch in the final half for the album’s most explosive effort. The title track features droning guitar lead-in with swirling riff-work and pounding drumming builds to frenzied riffing and fiery mid-tempo charging with the stylish patterns keeping the energy up in the mid-tempo rhythms firing through the tight crunch riffs of the dynamic solo section leading back into the hard-charging finale for an enjoyable thrasher.

The second half tends to stick out here with much weaker, less-enjoyable efforts than the first half. ‘The Nevererending Rain’ has swirling melodies run through a refined mid-tempo charge with pounding drumming and dexterous rhythms surging through the complex riff-work with the increased technicality adding a frantic race through the mid-tempo sections as the atmospheric soloing carry the more melodic riffing along into the final half for a slight downgrade from the opening tracks but still gets a lot of enjoyable moments. The first of the weaker tracks, ‘A Memory from My Past’ uses charging mid-tempo grooves and atmospheric vocal chants that bring the mid-tempo crunch riffing and dexterous drumming into the urgent patterns with the fiery solo section leading into more frantic grooves and blistering mid-tempo riffing along the finale for the album’s weakest effort that still has some worth overall. ‘Your Decision’ utilizes atmospheric tribal drumming and mid-tempo riff-work that drive through the crunchy patterns that give way to solid groove rhythms along the chorus with more hard-charging patterns leading into the dynamic solo section as the grooving chugs continue along into the final half for a somewhat better effort but still not up the better tracks elsewhere. The epic ‘Dead Man Rising’ features slow-building melodic riffing and groove patterns charge through the mid-tempo chugging that keeps the atmosphere in check through the simple grooves throughout the first half with a shift into charging patterns in the mid-section leading to the solo section filled with extended, droning patterns leading into the grooves for the finale in another rather weak effort. Back in familiar territory, ‘Bloodsucker’ starts with melodic leads blast into charging up-tempo riffing with crunchy patterns and frantic rhythms that drop off into the grooves for the chorus-work but retains the hard-charging blasts along the remaining rhythms firing into the frantic solo section and continuing on through the blazing final half for the second half’s best track overall. ‘H.M.M.I.G.’ goes for dynamic riffing and soaring rhythms charge through a tight mid-tempo crunch with the fiery leads and energetic rhythms flowing through the grand arrangements with falsetto screams carrying the frantic energy along into the utterly furious solo section with blazing, technical leads and blistering melodies as the sing-a-long chorus continues for the finale in a rousing, fiery final impression.

Frankly, there’s not a whole lot here that really keeps these veterans back on this one other than the small factors here that may or may not be important to each individual listener. Some of these are truly detrimental issues while others might not find them to be so in light of all the positives in the album which are still there in enough quantities to make this a solid, rousing effort for those who aren’t bothered by it’s flaws and still find a lot to like about the retro-thrash scene.