On a few rare occasions upon hearing a band for the very first time there is an instant understanding and emotional sustenance of one’s musical needs and desires and the sense of music that is on a much higher and unexpected level from the start. Australian metalers Circles are such a band, their immense and impressive debut mini album The Compass instantly setting them apart from the majority of other bands and at the forth front of not just progressive and technical metal, but metal/rock itself. The six stunning tracks on their release reveal a quintet of musicians and song writers impactful in ability, creativity and technical skill as a unit, and music that oozes belief, confidence and a sure handed combination of melodies and ruptured structures that excite and ignite the senses.
Melbourne’s Circles are a relatively new band having formed in 2010 but hit a chord with an immediate mass of fans with their Prelude demo in the same year. Live shows cemented and increased awareness amid a rising fervour for their sound in their homeland whilst gathering attention beyond its shores. February of this year saw the band sign to UK label Basick Records and work on tracks to become what is The Compass quickly followed. With the mini album now released and the glory of their djent based tangent littered progressive metal ingenuity there for all to hear, it is no surprise they have rapidly garnered such acclaim and intense enthusiasm their way.
‘Frontline’ opens up the release with electronic and synth pulses that beckon in a throbbing beast of a bass riff soon joined by the striking guitars of Ted Furuhashi and Matty Clarke. The track winds its way through its attention seeking length to great effect. To be honest the track does not pull down trees and really only intrigues but does ensure continued attention with its more than satisfying and enjoyable blends of harmonies, melodies, and driving power, though the further it progresses the bolder and more challenging it gets with a dramatic climax to envy. The song does instantly show the sheer power and impressive range of vocalist Perry Kakridas, his seamless and effortless mix of soaring smooth vocals and growling and scathing aggressive bursts outshining most other vocalists currently.
The second track ‘Clouds Are Gathering’ takes over and from this point the atmosphere is sparked into a blistering and searing intensity that never stops until the albums fading last notes. The track has everything and some, all elements that are needed to make a song sure to be immortalised in the heart. Titanic unpredictable driving riffs and constructs with a technical sharpness that never dulls in their incisive energy and attack merge into flowing harmonious melodies that sweep throughout, framing the jaw dropping and wonderful vocals of Kakridas. By the close of The Compass it is clear in time he will be classed up there with the likes of Mike Patton, of which it is apparent the Australian has been influenced by as it is that Faith No More have the band. For what will not be the only time on the release the track brings the elements that made FNM the inspirational leaders of so many fused into their own eclectic writing skills and sounds.
Not allowing the listener to take a breath the third and best track follows and ‘Act 3’ is a brute of a power soaked forceful song. Even in its mellower inserts and harmonious swells it is as intimidating but in an engaging way. The drums of Dave Hunter as on all tracks drive the song without breaking its emotive essence whilst bassist Drew Patton once more gives a compulsive resonating spine to the track. The three remaining tracks are just as powerful and fulfilling on the album, ‘Eyes Embedded’ with a sound that has a God Forbid/FNM like flavour, the tight and technically intelligent momentum of ‘The Design’, and the closing atmospheric clear and stormy merges within the enthralling ‘Ruins’, all continue the absorbing and wonderful quality already shown.
It is basically simple, The Compass is easily one of the very best releases so far this year and Circles will be one of the most respected bands of all time in what could be on this evidence, the very near future.