Circle Of Reason – Faith Or Theory

COR_RingMasterReview

On the back of a collection of releases which have taken ears and enjoyment on an adventurous ride, anticipation for the debut album from British alternative rock band Circle Of Reason has been rife and ripe for quite a while. The wait is now almost over and a new creative escapade from the Southampton quartet waiting to be greedily devoured; a reaction hard to see Faith Or Theory missing out on.

Emerging in 2011, Circle Of Reason was soon stirring up their local scene before poking at broader recognition a year later with their excellent debut EP, A Favour For A Stranger. Led by outstanding single Silver Scene, the three-track introduction lit the ears and spirit whilst revealing the potential of bigger and bolder things to come. And so they did with a big leap in the These Hands & This Mind EP of 2013/14. With their music inspired by the likes of Mastodon, Deftones, Biffy Clyro, Muse, and Queens Of The Stone Age, the second EP showed the band developing their own distinct and eventful sound. There was a new imagination fuelled character to it without defusing the already established fire and creative enterprise in their sound and an increasingly renowned live presence seeing Circle Of Reason share stages with bands such as Feed The Rhino, Marmozets, Neck Deep, Inme, Mallory Knox, Heck, Allusondrugs, Freeze The Atlantic, Breed 77, Zico Chain and many more over the years.

The past months has seen a slight line-up change and the creation of Faith Or Theory. It too is an open step on from past triumphs; bringing a bolder maturity and imaginative zeal with its fascinating body that demands attention. Opening with the band’s new upcoming video/single, Never Enough, the album has ears gripped within its first sound bulging seconds. Instantly a barrage of thumping beats and hungry riffs collude to envelop the senses, spicy grooves emerging from the inviting tempest to entice an already eager appetite. Straight away there is something unique to the band’s proposal from the start but also their recognisable hunger and energy to take ears on a new adventure.  As the song expands into a web of melodic enterprise and rhythmic tenacity, the tones of vocalist/guitarist Simon Osman quickly hit the mark, reminding of his already established quality and emotive expression. The same applies throughout the band, in the evocative strains of Gary Slade’s guitar inventive bait and the growly hues of bass from its  newest member, he only going by the name of Rob so far, which add an almost bestial edge to the enjoyably raw air and roar of the track’s fiery escapade.

circle-of-reason_RingMasterReview The great start is soon eclipsed by Questions, it too holding a heavier and enjoyably intimidating essence to its virulent proposal. The versatile swinging beats of Andy Milwain leave no spot unmarked whilst the hooks of Osman and addictive grooves of Slade swiftly get under the skin with their melodic colour and varied flavouring. At times there is a touch of Reuben to the song, other moments of bands like Freeze The Atlantic, and persistently a tapestry of rock and alternative spicing keeping things inventively unpredictable whilst making it easy to be caught up in the contagion.

My Emergency steps up next with a less intrusive and imposing nature yet it too has a tempestuousness to its energy and emotion which intrigues as it whips up another increasingly robust and catchy affair. Backing harmonies court Osman’s ever impressing delivery whilst guitar and bass almost entwine like lovers in their infectious and dramatic endeavours around Milwain’s potently jabbing beats. Leaving body and spirit bouncing, the track makes way for Clarity. It also has a less forceful attitude to its persuasion but a host of ear seizing and imagination sparking twists and turns within its slowly and increasingly anthemic arousing of sound and pleasure cored by a rhythmic spine and nagging riffery which worms into the psyche.

Every song makes an immediate impact but maybe none as striking as In Other Words. It opens on a seductive and slightly melancholic melody with an almost theatrical feel to it; the coaxing continuing to keep ears hooked as the song opens up with voice and additional vines of poetic melodies matched in imagination by the evocative lures of bass. As it builds up in intensity, emotion, and creative fire, there is a definite Muse like quality to the song but only enough to add colour to the band’s own sonic and inventive drama.

The following Tie Up The Sky uncages its enthralling and volatile tempest from the first breath, again rhythms a prowling network of enticement within the sonic and melodic theatre captivating ears and thoughts around Osman’s plaintive and dynamic croon. Circle Of Reason has the great knack of being aggressive, almost fearsome at times, and ridiculously infectious and vibrantly inviting; this compelling offering epitomising that potent quality in rousing style.

Completed by latest video single Colours, a track which climbs over the senses and into the passion with exotically hued grooves and a thick drama of sound and emotional suggestiveness, Faith Or Theory rumbles and blazes with heart bred fervour amidst an invasive quality. It feels like the Circle Of Reason sound has come of age yet something still says there is plenty more yet to come, which can only be very good for the UK rock scene.

Faith Or Theory is released 27th May via Freefall Records.

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Pete RingMaster 09/05/2016

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Circle Of Reason – These Hands And This Mind EP

circle of reason

If like us you were excited by the debut A Favour For A Stranger EP from UK alternative rock band Circle Of Reason, you are going to be grinning from ear to ear with their new release, the These Hands And This Mind EP. The five track EP realises all the promise of its predecessor and more. It is a release which aligns itself with thoughts and emotions with reflective and evocative potency whilst coaxing the passions further with sounds which caress, rumble through, and energise the ear with a maturer imagination capturing craft. Hopes of greater things from the band in the wake of their previous EP were inevitable and rich but the Southampton quartet now makes it feel like we short changed their potential with the outstanding release.

Since forming the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Simon Osman, guitarist Gary Slade, bassist Sam Cogher, and drummer Andy Milwain, have earned a strong reputation through their live performances alone which has seen them play with the likes of Feed The Rhino, Marmozets, Girlschool, Lafaro, Fighting With Wire, The Smoking Hearts, Landscapes, Inme, Zico Chain, Attention Thieves, and more. Their video singles and the A Favour For A Stranger EP equally built up their stance, garnering acclaim and widespread national coverage from the underground media to the likes of Big Cheese Magazine, Scuzz TV, Kerrang TV, and Lava. Already having earned comparisons to the likes of Coheed and Cambria, Soundgarden, and The Smashing Pumpkins, Circle of Reason are now ready to step onto higher levels and with These Hands And This Mind they have made an impressive first step.

Released Monday 29th July, the EP steps forward first with the single from the release Don’t Be Still. It is an instantly appealing cover_240mix of punchy rhythms and fiery guitar caresses around the ear, the air soon heated and thick from the sonic and passionate endeavour. As the again impressive tones of Osman stand astride the creative sounds with rich expression and emotive potency aided with the equally notable backing vocals of Cogher, the song wraps its sinewy intensity and melodic flames tightly around thoughts and passions. With only the disjointed break midway a minor niggle the song leaves a starting to stir ardour smouldering in its wash though it takes the following pair of songs to truly ignite its hunger.

Next up Home is a slowly burning triumph; its initial vocal and guitar welcome a glorious tender lure which only suggests you should share its company, though this persuasion is soon heightened as the bass of Cogher offers darker shadows and the beats of Milwain frame it all with rhythmic concentration.  It is when the track erupts and expels its fullest sinews of energy and passion though, subsequently merging both aspects into a scintillating progressive adventure, that the song rips full submission from the heart. It is a mountain of a piece which alone shows how far the band has come and evolved in sound and songwriting whilst still offering a promise of much more. As with the first EP, there is a strong feel of eighties band The Mighty Lemon Drops to Circle of Reason, vocally and emotionally which is most apparent in the equally stunning Themes Amongst Thieves. Riffs and rhythms carve out a terrific flight of metallic excellence which leaves lungs breathless whilst vocally once more Osman swoops across the rugged landscape with a grace hand in hand with the melodic elegance that permeates every breath the song takes. The two songs easily steal top honours on the EP and do not be surprised if they, and especially the second of the pair, turn up as the next single.

The following Novel also has a vigorous presence to its structure with guitars coarse flames across the cage of rhythmic demands but equally it explores its heart and emotive depths with a melodic and progressive adventure which is mesmeric and passion driven. Like all songs and the EP as a whole, the track just gets better and better with each dramatic engagement and leaves the appetite for the band verging on feverish.

The closing Sleep is a slow croon which captivates musically and vocally. It does not quite spark the passions as powerfully as other tracks but still leaves the richest flavour on the appetite and provides further evidence of the evolution of the band already and ahead.

These Hands And This Mind has marked Circle Of Reason as one of the most thrilling emerging bands in UK rock and with you feel so much more to come. Really it is hard not to be excited about this band.

www.facebook.com/circleofreason

9/10

RingMaster 21/07/2013

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Circle Of Reason – Don’t Be Still – Official HD Music Video

‘These Hands And This Mind’, from CIRCLE OF REASON out 29th July‏

Circle Of Reason Online Promo Shot

RISING ALTERNATIVE ROCKERS CIRCLE OF REASON RELEASE NEW EP & VIDEO!

Bursting out of the South West of England, Circle of Reason cunningly weave together their own brand of Prog-infused Alternative rock that is unmistakably unique and individual. Intensely merging considerate, visceral guitar parts, ear-shattering drums, and warm, alluring vocals, they create something sweepingly fast-paced and melodic that is at once compelling and supremely appealing. Their highly engaging sound is very much their own, though they have received affectionate comparisons to the likes of ‘Coheed and Cambria’, ‘Soundgarden’ and ‘The Smashing Pumpkins’.
   Circle of Reason have a genuine affinity for touring and performing live, and have already played alongside bands such as: Feed The Rhino,  Marmozets, Girlschool, Lafaro, Fighting With Wire, The Smoking Hearts, Landscapes, Inme, Attention Thieves and Steak Number Eight. Besides a hefty touring schedule, the four-piece are also amassing a solid release output. Last year, the rising quartet’s debut EP ‘A Favour For A Stranger’ racked up impressive underground acclaim and national magazine coverage, with Big Cheese Magazine praising the band: “This is truly hard hitting material for a debut EP”. The EP also spawned a series of music videos which all garnered TV coverage from the likes of Scuzz TV, Kerrang TV and Lava.
   The band stride forward once more with the release of their killer new EP ‘These Hands And This Mind’, out this July. The EP is loaded to the maximum with diverse guitar riffs and glowing vocal lines that truly soar, from the pounding riffery and stomping groove of their forthcoming single ‘Themes Amongst Thieves’, to the anthemic guile and craft of their current single ‘Don’t Be Still’. The foursome’s indisputable talent prominently shines throughout the whole of the EP, with each track dispatching its own unique feel, drive and vigour.

    Before then check out their brand new video for the track Don’t Be Still below.

– CIRCLE OF REASON RELEASE ‘THESE HANDS AND THIS MIND’ ON MONDAY 29th JULY THROUGH ALL DIGITAL OUTLETS –
Circle Of Reason Cover artwork
TRACKLISTING: 1. Don’t Be Still; 2. Home; 3. Themes Amongst Thieves; 4. Novel; 5. Sleep.
BAND MEMBERS: Gary – Guitar; Simon – Singer/Guitar; Sam – Bass/Backing vocals; Andy – Drums.
FOR FANS OF: Smashing Pumpkins, Coheed and Cambria, Soundgarden.

Circle Of Reason: A Favour For A Stranger EP

Circle Of Reason Promo shot

From just the initial listens of A Favour For A Stranger, the new EP from alternative rockers Circle Of Reason you can feel this is a band with all the promise and ingredients to be a big force certainly in the UK rock scene ahead. The three track release is a compulsive slice of well-crafted melodic rock and boisterous energy honed with a fine progressive intent. The band has been compared to the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Silverchair, Muse, and Queens of The Stone Age, in varying ways to which you can easily add Biffy Clyro and Inme. Circle Of Reason have their own template of sound though which sets them apart from the majority of similarly gaited bands and leaves a sense of excitement for their future whilst giving plenty of pleasure in the now.

The Southampton band was formed in 2009 and has made a steady progress building a strong presence in the South West of England also reaching further afield. Renowned for their live shows which has seen them alongside bands such as Girlschool, Fighting with Wire, Freeze the Atlantic, Landscapes, Idiom, Rumer, and The Smoking Hearts across the UK, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Simon Osman, guitarist Gary Slade, bassist Sam Cogher, and drummer Andy Milwain, have now set down a marker with the new release which has to be the platform for them to go forth and seize major recognition. It is an impressive aural base camp to venture forward with further invention from, exploration of headier heights in their own evolving creative hands.

The release consists of two previous video singles, which have garnered good play and attention from the likes of Kerrang! TV, Circle Of Reason Cover ArtworkScuzz, and Lava TV, and a third track which is their new video single released to coincide with the EP. Chasing the Sun starts things off with big riffs and dazzling guitar play, a major feature of all three songs. Into its stride the song relaxes into a slightly reserved air as vocalist Osman joins the already intriguing song. He is a strong vocalist who especially excels when raising his vocal energies, though less striking when keeping it low key. He was also the cause of ignoring the majority of the song and release during the first couple of plays, as concentration could only be focused on who he sounded like. It is one of those frustrations which have to be alleviated with an answer before moving on, and thankfully, eventually it revealed itself. I have read him compared to Kurt Cobain (?) but actually he is a dead ringer for Paul Marsh from eighties band The Mighty Lemon Drops; of course that will mean nothing to most but just had to bring relief and closure to the ‘problem’. The song fires up throughout into strong melodic flames musically and in mass harmonies which leave the senses smouldering with contentment and glowing from the outstanding and precise guitar invention. Arguably still the weakness track on the release the excellent song is a deeply engaging piece of enterprise.

     Sea Of Voices is a feistier proposition, striking sinewy riffs grabbing eager attention whilst Osman sweeps through the song vocally nicely backed up by the rest of the band with group harmonies. The song is a thumping stomp with the rhythms of Milwain forming a formidable frame for the basslines of Cogher to badger and guitars of Osman and Slade to incite and dazzle. The progressive intent of the band is at its creative fullness on the track with a wonderful though brief magnetically whispering aside of peaceful melodic grandeur stepping forward before the fiery climax. Everything is in perfect proportion in the songs, the riotous riffs, impacting rhythms, and emotive melodic beauty finding a seamless place in the overall impressive energetic contagion without bleeding into or overwhelming their companions, this song the thrilling example.

The release is completed by the latest single Silver Scene, a track which alone shows why the band is being talked so highly of. Again blending the sturdiest rock and metal riffs with a bruising intensity and infectious melodic invention all brought with unmistakable skill, the song is an irresistible weave of imagination and thoughtful songwriting. From first note to last it is an inventive lure for the passions and inciter of emotions, a mischievous conveyor of barbed hooks and impossible to refuse rock n roll. Other than an opening few seconds where the levels feel smothered compared to the rest of the song, it is a near perfect treat and like the other songs the basis for great anticipation of big things ahead for the band.

A Favour For A Stranger is an excellent EP which just gets better and better with every listen whilst raising hopes that Circle Of Reason has an album in the works for the near future. This is a band you should treat yourselves too very soon.

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RingMaster 01/12/2012

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