Old rona may be hanging around like a party guest who’s overstayed their welcome, but …
With only four albums in twenty two years, Alarum is hardly the most prolific of bands.
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Where proficiency trumps profligacy however, this band are kings, for every release has seen a leap forward in songwriting and technicality.
Circle’s End is the apogee of Alarum’s creativity, a sweeping ten-track song cycle that continues the band’s signature style of chaotic technicality. The playing is ablaze with swirling, crossfire guitar histrionics bursting forth from off-kilter metal riffing and choppy time-signature changes. Each song is peppered with wild soloing and insanely technical drum moves somehow tying together the slap-bass motifs and apparently random explosions of riffs that form the basis of Alarum’s hectic, seemingly disjointed method of songwriting. This time, however, it is both more turbulent and more refined, a juxtaposition of madness and clarity that makes for a riotous collection of tracks.
Circle’s End is one of Australia’s best bands letting themselves out of the box for a demented journey of almost barely controlled creativity that may be too unhinged for some, but perfect for those drawn to wild technical abandon.
Thrash collides with spacey fusion meets with casual intrusions of Latin rock, the in-name-and-nature two-songs-in-one Syzygy and the trippy jazz-metal infusion Thoughts to Measure just two of the tracks taking Alarum’s inventiveness to another level. Crystals provides a glimpse into another side of the band, an all-too-brief interlude between the raging thrash of Delta and the smooth jazzy intro of the ever-shifting Sand. War of Nerves and In Spiral continue Alarm’s predilection for sudden mood changes as the album hurtles towards the towering closing pair, Circle’s End and Sojourn where the band allow themselves to expand in all directions, piling on the explosive, slinky guitar solos and unexpected directional shifts in a final display of complete unpredictability.
Neither jarring nor particularly fluid, Circle’s End is one of Australia’s best bands letting themselves out of the box for a demented journey of almost barely controlled creativity that may be too unhinged for some, but perfect for those drawn to wild technical abandon.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Syzygy, Sand, Sojourn
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