For the uninitiated, Circles are a very accessible melodic proggy/metal band that utilises front man Perry’s soaring and dynamic vocal range to separate them from their contemporary’s. It’s not as whacky as Twelve Foot Ninja (though one could argue the similarities are there on this new single) and not as mainstream as Dead Letter Circus or Hands Like Houses.
This is one of a handful of Melbourne bands from a few years back who rose above the sub-par metalcore and djent copy cats early to get signed by an international label, drop a killer..and I mean killer EP, full length album (complete with deluxe edition) and tour internationally. This all happened whilst remaining relatively unknown to the wider masses in their home country/city.
Hopefully this injustice will be corrected in 2016 as the band prep for album #2 later this year. With any luck this will point listeners to the incredible back catalogue as well.
So .. this is the first new thing we’ve gotten from them since 2014 (if you count bonus tracks on ‘Infinitas’ deluxe edition) and features their new guitarist Ben Rechter. ‘Sand and Wind’ starts with a staccato/djenty riff beneath a slightly distorted vocal through the verse. The energy is up and the chorus arrives pretty quickly so there’s no time to get bored. Double time drums switch gears and raise the energy even further, clean vocals with a big melody cut though and a beautifully picked ‘clean’ guitar sprinkles colour over the top for a very familiar sounding chorus. All within a minute. Nice.
The highlight for me though was this crazy Meshuggah-esque section during the latter part of the song that features a freeking awesome and very Fredrik Thordenal style lead break over the top. This is something we have not heard from them before and although a little jarring at first, it really contrasted against the earlier sections that are immediately likeable and polished. A second solo follows it adding even more to the feeling that this is new territory for the band as the guitar lines squeal and trill and slide in a fashion reminiscent of Tom Morello. Wether that’s Ben’s influence on the writing or just an overall effort to sound distinctly different we will have to wait and see when the full length drops this year.
What Circles deliver with polished songwriting is equally matched in challenging riffs and creative compositions. They don’t re-invent the wheel so much as put trippy led’s on the wheel cap and drive over speed humps for the effect.
Weird metaphor.. yes.
Free download via soundcloud (link below), follow them on the socials for updates.
*just announced a headline hometown show with tix on sale nnnnow.
Tix/web site: http://circles.band/