Grave Circles was originally a duo formed in 2016 in Vinnytsia (Ukraine) by members of Goatflesh. The band released its first EP on the Swedish label Shadow Records one year later. Brutal and melodic, “Tome I” sets the scene and paves the way for its successor and band’s first full-length album, soberly entitled “Tome II”. After its digital release in December 2019, the combo joined Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions for the physical issue of this second opus in May.

Now a quartet, the band delivers here an inspired and experimental black metal reminding us a bit of Deathspell Omega, Mgla or Misþyrming. Reflecting upon human decay, questions of faith, worship, blasts and dissonant chords… all the ingredients for a journey as sick as introspective across Grave Circles’ world. The band will share this year the stage with the Poles of Infernal War and the legendary Marduk from Sweden.

Line-Up : Virus – Guitars, Songwriting
Baal – Vocals, Songwriting
Exile – Guitars
KGD – Bass, Guitars

Lazareth – Brass instruments (tracks 2, 7)
S.S. – Drums
Engwar – Guitars (Lead, track 1)
Pavel Vit – Singing bowl, Ambient (Track 7)

Artwork by Alexander Held

Every collaboration is the happy result of a chain of fortuitous circumstances, of random and providential encounters. GRAVE CIRCLES is no exception. It all started with quite a boozy Christmas dinner amongst friends, to whom I innocently asked: “So, which bands that are still unsigned have slapped you in the face, lately?” I seize the opportunity to thank warmly Richard, Xav and Dom, from the Facebook group “Black Metal addicts”, who shared an unanimous opinion on this band. Just as LADLO’s roster is far from limiting itself to Post-Black (despite what many people think!), GRAVE CIRCLES is one of our bands that are the closest to the original genre, without restricting itself to it. The band might not be revolutionary, but it has managed to find its own identity through a variety of influences and created a Black Metal as tortured as the topics depicted in its lyrics. “Tome II” is an intense and varied album, with often complex structures and brutal but nagging and melodic riffs, aerial and occult atmospheres. It is a subterranean, crawling and dissonant beast, cadenced by unerring drums and almost ritual incantations. From the first to the last note, I can’t get tired of this mature and unflagging work. I am very proud of this achievement, and I hope you’ll enjoy heabanging on it as much as I do.


Tome II | Release date : 08.05.2020 | Duration : 42:48

Format: CD > digipack AO-117 | LP Gatefold > LPAO-118