the encircled - ascension

The ENCIRCLED
Ascension (Demo)
Independent
1993

The Encircled was another of many mystery bands that appeared in the early 1990s, released one cassette-only demo, then disappeared almost as quickly as they came in. There’s hardly any information on The Encircled, other than they were an American band, and only released this particular 5-song demo on cassette. There’s next to nothing on this obscure group, and the only other review I found in a Google search was on another blog. So really, I don’t have much to put in this for back story, which I normally like to try and do. There’s not even liner notes on this thing for reference points.

Regardless, though, I did happen upon their Ascension demo, and gave it a couple of listens. What I can tell you is this: the music The Encircled played was thrash, of the sort that mostly sounded like a cross between the band Death and Seventh Angel’s early material. Which is to say, it’s not bad. The first song, “Humanity”, actually is a bit more interesting, as it sounds closer to Voivod’s take on the thrash style, and the second song “Life” has more of a punkier, one might say alternative thrash vibe, with vocals that sound like that guy from the Crash Test Dummies. The production, sadly, is sub-par, but not unlistenable.

Overall, with the Ascension demo being the only evidence of there ever being a band called The Encircled, I have to say–crappy production aside–this band actually showed a bit of promise. They worked better with the straight-ahead thrash, rather than the more experimental first two tracks; I don’t know if it was the fact that it was released at a time when “metal” was considered a bad word in the great upheaval that was the early-90s alternative revolution, or if personal lives got in the way, or a combination of both. We’ll never really know what may have come of this band, and that’s a pity.

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