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Dutch death metal band Callenish Circle rose from the ashes of an earlier band named Genocide circa 1992. Singer Patrick Savelkoul and guitarist Jos Evers worked with countless different lineups before finding stability two years later with the arrival of guitarist Ronny Tijssen, bassist John Gorissen, and drummer Gavin Harte. After fleshing out their sound for another year or so, the quintet recorded 1995's "Lovelorn" demo, which was voted demo of the month by Holland's most respected heavy metal publication, Aardschok, and quickly sold out the 1,000 copies they'd had printed. This surge of interest didn't go unnoticed and Holland's own Hammerheart Records soon offered them a one-album deal, resulting in Callenish Circle's 1996 debut, Drift of Empathy. Although its songs displayed a competently executed melodic death metal sound inspired by the Swedish scene to the north, the album failed to ignite much consumer interest outside their homeland, and both band and label decided it was in their best interest to part ways.
While they attempted to regroup, Evers and Gorissen were replaced by guitarist Remy Dieteren and bassist Roland Schuschke, respectively, after which the band recorded 1998's Escape EP and released it through tiny Polar Bear Records. Then, in an attempt to gain more control over their career, Callenish Circle decided to self-finance their sophomore full-length, 1999's Graceful...Yet Forbidding, before signing with yet another independent label called DSFA, which promptly went out of business as well. Despite these frustrating business blunders, Callenish Circle's fan base continued to grow steadily, even as their musicianship and songwriting abilities gradually improved with each outing, and they were finally rewarded for their efforts when famed heavy metal powerhouse Metal Blade came calling with a four-album deal in hand. The quintet didn't have to think twice, immediately signed on the dotted line, and then delivered its third album, 2002's remarkably potent and mature Flesh Power Dominion, before hitting the road with labelmates Amon Amarth. Forbidden Empathy, a two-disc collection of material from their pre-Metal Blade days arrived in 2005, followed by their fourth full-length recording, Pitch Black Effects, in January of 2006.