Album of the Month

Canterbury's Famyne do an excellent job of blending their disparate influences into a consistent debut full-length album.
(Read more)

Featured debut

Random band

Mournful, funereal doom metal with a heavy dose of melancholy. The extensive use of keyboards,organ sounds and chanted vocals (although a lot of the vocals are ...
(read more)

"...the second Magic Circle album has now been released on the 20 Buck Spin label: its name is 'Journey Blind', and that's why we had this virtual conversation with Chris and Dan."

Interview with Magic Circle.
"Magic Circle (Massachusetts, 2011) is a company of Doom worshipers who've spent years in different underground metal sects. Justin DeTore (bass) played and still plays in about 16 (!!!) bands, drummer Q is from Sludge'n'heavy outfit Doomriders, Brendan Radigan (vocals) sings in about 4 bands including Stone Dagger - where he met Chris Corry (guitars). Justin also played in one band with Dan Ducas – the second guitarist of Magic Circle.

The band released their self-titled debut in 2013 and it is a very impressive blend of old and good Traditional Doom and Heavy Metal with clean melodic vocals, catchy riffs and amazing solos. Is it good? It's nearly perfect. November 20th, 2015 is the date when the second Magic Circle album will be released on the 20 Buck Spin label: its name is 'Journey Blind', and that's why we had this virtual conversation with Chris and Dan."

Today's Magic Circle interviewees Chris (CC) and Dan.

Hail men! How are you? What's going on in Magic Circle, as you already have a new full-length on your hands?

CC: Greetings, and thanks for the interview! The album is out November 20 on CD & Digital on the 20 Buck Spin label, and by the end of the year on vinyl barring any last minute set backs with the pressing plant (which unfortunately sometimes happens). We're going to be playing some shows in Europe next year so that's the big thing on the horizon. More details on that are forthcoming, I don't want to announce it just yet.

Dan: Thanks for speaking with us Aleks. We're happy to finally see the release of the record this year. It has been in the works for quite some time, so there is a mixture of excitement and relief on our end in getting it out there. And as CC mentioned, we're working on putting together some shows in support of the album here in the States, Canada and abroad. Things are cooking.

Your first album was released in 2013: can you say if it's hard to find your listeners now, when there are a lot of doom bands all around?

CC: Well the good thing about heavy metal is the fans can never get enough, and they're very supportive if they like what they hear, so there was a good word of mouth buzz going, and the listeners just sort of found us, which we're really fortunate to have.

Dan: That is one cool thing about heavy metal and the internet. The word of mouth and tape trading traditions of old live on, only in a much more immediate, digital sense.

All the members of Magic Circle previously played in a bunch of different bands. How did this experience help you in creating such remarkable doom music?

CC: We've all played in a lot of different bands, some have been metal and a bunch haven't, but none of us are new to playing music, so I think that helped a lot yea.

CC, Brendan Radigan (Vocals) and Justin DeTore (Bass).

It's known that Magic Circle's debut record captured the attention of listeners with nearly perfect song writing and production, as each of songs from that album has something unique and special. Now, when your second album 'Journey Blind' is on the way to listeners, what are the main differences between it and the debut?

CC: Well I think we've expanded the sonic palette a little bit. It's still very melancholy in many passages but there are some quieter moments, and some lighter joyful sections too. The recording was done in the same place but the sound is not quite the same, although I wouldn't say it's cleaned up, just kind of a little warmer in some ways.

Dan: Somehow warmer, despite the fact we were tracking guitars during a blizzard! I also feel we have a stronger chemistry as a band and I think that was captured, but perhaps in a more abstract way.

What's the story with the blizzard, Dan?

Dan: Par for the course in New England, but we got really hammered with several consecutive blizzards earlier in the year, one of which hit the weekend we were in the studio. So we were pretty much snowed in at the cave while tracking.

Both of you play guitars, it's good and a bit unusual thing for doom bands. How do you share songs between each other?

CC: Is it unusual? It feels completely normal to me. I mean the twin guitar attack is part of so many band's signature sounds. Usually we just both try stuff out until things feel comfortable with both guitars. I end up with most of the solos but that's not something that's set in stone.

There are two new songs on the band's site: attacking heavy/stoner killer "Journey Blind" and traditional doom song "A Ballad For The Vultures". Are these tracks the best examples of how the new stuff sounds?

CC: I would say these two songs give you a good idea of what you're going to hear on the album. There's a lot of ebb and flow from the light and the dark moments.

Magic Circle – 'Scream Evil':

What is the central mood of the new album? How do you see the emotional content of Magic Circle?

CC: I guess like I said there's an ebb and flow between the shadows and the light on it. Success and failure. Joy and sorrow.

The band is compared with Pagan Altar, Trouble, Warning and it is easy to understand when you're listening to Magic Circle. So, who are your teachers of doom?

CC: All those comparisons are really huge compliments. Beyond those there are so many others from the most obvious (Sabbath, Zeppelin, Rainbow), to some of the less likely (Rick Wakeman, Bo Hansson, Aerosmith, The Beatles, Girlschool, Badlands....). But I think part of what works in favor of the band is that everyone is able to easily work together but adapt their own tastes and influences.

Dan: We are definitely across the rock n roll and heavy metal spectrum in terms of influences. Like, I've been on a big Cactus kick this past week. That was one of the first albums I pulled out of my dad's record collection when I was a kid and still spin on a regular basis. Another general rule of thumb is if one of the Appice brothers played drums on it, we probably like it.

Can you tell about one of your favorite Magic Circle songs? Both of you, of course…

CC: Journey Blind has remained a song I really enjoy. It has a lot of different sections and shades that are still really enjoyable to play.

Dan: Antediluvian is a fun one to play. It has a sort of Beatles by way of Sabbath vibe to it and I like the way it builds to the coda.

And also I'd like to ask you about the most important book you read in school.

CC: Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff" of course (isn't that what everyone says!?).

Dan: I'd have to say Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises." That one really blew my hair back at an impressionable age.

What are the other influences reflected in Magic Circle besides music?

CC: Genre movies, fantasy books, comics, the usual stuff everyone likes I guess. Anything that can get your mind out of the dull and twisted present day.

Dan: All of those fantastic elements we absorb bleed into the sound and vibe in one way or another.

It's OK for me as I love doom, I wouldn't do this interview if I don't like it... But men look - we live in 2015, Marti and Doc should have already arrived, men slowly conquer the cosmos, but yet we have a huge music culture mostly based on prejudice and deviltry. How do you see this logical conflict?

CC: Hey who's to say that we haven't conquered the cosmos yet. They say the moon rings like a bell - ya know?

Ha-ha, I hadn't heard it but my buddy says that he does! And in continuation of the previous question… How do you think - what role does doom music play in underground culture?

CC: Doom metal is just one of the many colors of the dark.

Magic Circle – 'Journey Blind':

I've seen your show list on the website and it's surprisingly brief: don't you like the live aspect of being in the band? And, by the way, do you plan to do a tour to support 'Journey Blind'?

CC: It's kind of a difficult endeavor for us to play shows because we all work full time and have a variety of other commitments, so we haven't played too many, but we do have a number of shows upcoming, including a series of dates coming up next spring in Europe.

Dan: It certainly is challenging for all of those reasons, but we plan to do as much as we can next year. It's always a treat to bring it to the live setting.

What are your ambitions considering Magic Circle?

CC: Just to continue to play music for anyone willing to listen as long as it remains enjoyable for us.

Dan: Yeah, as long as it remains fun and interesting to us and the folks who dig it, we will continue the journey.

Magic Circle – 'The Damned Man' live in 2014:

Thank you very much for the interview! I hope that it wasn't too boring for you to answer! Wish you all the best in organizing Magic Circle tours and spreading the word about 'Journey Blind'. Good luck men!

CC: Oh I enjoyed it. Some very unique lines of questioning.

Dan: Thanks for talking to us. Hopefully our answers didn't put any readers to sleep.

Do you have a few more words to our readers?

Dan: "Don't try."

CC: "Belief is the enemy."

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Magic Circle bandpage.

Interviewed on 2015-12-06 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
Advertise your band, label or distro on doom-metal.com