Song of the Day: Circle of Dust - Aggressor (Regressive Mix)

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Industrial music has a long and complicated history, which we don’t have time to get deeply into here. Its roots lie in avant garde experimentalism of the 1970s, its name coming from literal industrial sounds as its inspiration. As the genre developed, it became intertwined with other styles–most notably dance music and techno, or at the other end of the spectrum heavy metal, and occasionally even hip-hop. For the longest time, Blackhouse (featured here) was the only industrial band exploring Christian themes, but all of their albums were released as imports and mostly on secular and/or independent labels.

While Circle of Dust was not the first industrial band to release on a Christian label–that honor goes to Deitiphobia with their dance-industrial classic Fear of God–it was one of the first to bring real credibility to the genre. They were also one of the first to bring metallic industrial to the forefront. Mortal was also flirting with the combination of heavy metal guitars and industrial dance beats, but the fruition of this hybrid came into full swing on their sophomore effort, Fathom.

Circle of Dust was probably the first Christian band to be riding the line between extreme metal (specifically thrash) and industrial dance beats to such detail. It’s no surprise that Scott Albert (AKA Klay Scott, AKA Klayton) first honed his chopped in straight-forward thrash band Immortal (not to be confused with the satanic black metal band). What I’ve always loved about COD was how precisely they walked that tightrope between metallic guitar riffs and heavy dance beats. Nowhere is this more prominent than on the Brainchild album (alternatively released as Mindwarp). I just love the syncopated rhythmic beats combined with the heavy guitars.

Klayton has a number of other projects (most notably Celldweller and Scandroid) and there are literally dozens of remixes and re-released version of Circle of Dust albums. It’s not difficult to get overwhelmed by the sheer depth and breadth of his work. This is not to mention related projects from former band members like Klank or Level (AKA lvl). Fortunately for us, all of his projects are top-quality. However, they don’t all express the same level of Christian expression.

Check out “Aggressor” and then follow that rabbit trail wherever it leads. You won’t regret it.

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MrM
MrM
January 31, 2021 8:41 pm

Not a big fan of Circle of Dust, but I really like Celldweller, as well as the occasional Scandroid or FreqGen track. Klayton does so much, it’s crazy, can’t believe he’s not bigger than he is in the rock scene. It’s cool to see his roots here.

thenorthseas
January 30, 2021 12:23 am

Klayton is a true genius at his craft. He’s a true perfectionist, which sometimes comes at a detriment at the speed of new albums, but he always has something interesting to put out. AP2 was my first Industrial album, and introduced me to Klayton’s back catalog of albums. Eventually, I explored other classics by Deitiphobia, LVL, Klank, Mortal, and Chatterbox. It’s a shame there’s not a bigger movement of Christian Industrial music, or even electronic rock ala Fold Zandura these days.

Phil
Phil
February 7, 2021 10:08 pm
Reply to  thenorthseas

Absolutely. Def an underapreciated musical genius+ most of his stuf is great. It wud b intrestin 2 c wer his spiritual life is at nowadays tho.

Timo Cuoco
Member
January 29, 2021 3:22 pm

Great review-Scott’s later project Celldweller is rearing to release another bunch of demos on bandcamp.

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