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Gone are the days when The Butterfly Effect dominated the triple j airwaves, but by no means is aussie alt-metal dead—it’s simply evolved.
MORE: TROPHY EYES: The Dreamers And The Doers // ALPHA WOLF: … And Out Come The Breakdowns // OUTRIGHT: Don’t Holler Atcha Girl
REVIEWS: TROPHY EYES: The American Dream // AS IT IS: The Great Depression // PLINI: Sunhead // THE SPIRIT: Sounds From The Vortex
Melbourne outfit Circles are a testament to this statement, with their new LP The Last One showing no signs of being less progressive, whilst maintaining that distinctly aussie ethereal flavour that audiences across the nation have come to love.
From opening groover Winter there is a dark coldness about this LP that suggests a band more matured, learned and experienced, fusing their trademark, djent rhythms with a far richer tapestry of sounds and dynamics.
The Messenger achieves this the best on The Last One, a truly progressive rock ballad that showcases the incredible vocal chops of frontman and guitarist Ben Rechter. Think Ian Kenny on New Day and you get the idea. Likewise, arrival slowly builds the tension, threatening to but never quite exploding right until the final seconds, offering up a high dose of brutality to land the song.
Circles are willing to test their musical limits and toy with things out of their comfort zone.
Fans of the band’s previous offering Infinitas may find the collection of songs here a little controlled, and the songwriting a little over-thought out at times, yet the spirit of what makes Circles such a gem is still there. Resolution sound’s a hell of a lot like the controlled side of their European tour-buddies-to-be Caligula’s Horse at times, and Renegade takes awhile to make it’s point (but eventually finding the groove pocket at the end).
However, evolution is a natural thing, and the injection of energy from cuts’ Dream Sequence and album highlight Blueprint For a Great Escape capture the band firing from all canisters.
The Last One might not offer something completely new in the prog world, but it sounds like Circles are willing to test their musical limits and toy with things out of their comfort zone. The home-grown alternative dream lives on.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Blueprint For a Great Escape, Dream Sequence, The Messenger
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Caligula’s Horse, Hakken, Textures