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Stream Circa Suvive’s fifth studio album in full

Circa Survie - Descensus album artwork

It’s safe to see this album, both when just a rumour, and even more so since its official announcement last month, has been one of my most anticipated for a while. Circa Survive are good. Really good. Like, Thrice good. I say Thrice because they’re on a similar path in terms of songwriting excellence, but also managing not to sound the same. There’s a distinct sound they have, that is probably easily copied but very hard to master.

Descensus distills the essence of the band’s previous efforts so very well. It’s going to be hard to top the seminal Blue Sky Noise from 2010, but already this is being spun several times daily. I may have been presumptuous to mentally leave an open spot on my year-end list for it, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to prove me right.

The two tracks released previously, “Schema” and “Only The Sun“, are fairly different from each other, but show well the two main sides of Circa’s work. “Schema” is aggressive and pacey, whilst “Only The Sun” gets spacier, with more use of pedals and a reliance on Anthony Green’s vocals to ground the soundscapes. Elements of these pop up in various places: the Big Riff at the end of “Child Of The Desert“; the simple guitar work of “Nesting Dolls“; and “Sovereign Circles” feels like a cut from On Letting Go.

There’s also interesting departures. “Phantom” is key-led, with quiet drums and a sometimes-guitar line in the background filling out the sound. Green’s lyrics, as ever, are both poignant and memorable, and you will find yourself singing them over and over.

Descensus came out today, so go grab it now! Circa Survive are on tour in the USA currently. Dates as follows:

11/24 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
11/25 San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
11/26 Pomona, CA @ The Fox Theater
11/28 San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
11/29 Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia
11/30 Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
12/02 Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
12/03 Austin, TX @ Emo’s
12/04 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Ballroom
12/06 Memphis, TN @ New Daisy Theatre
12/07 Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
12/09 Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
12/10 Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
12/12 Charlotte, NC @ Amos’ SouthEnd
12/13 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
12/14 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

w/ Title FightTera Melos (11/05 – 11/26) & Pianos Become The Teeth (11/28-12/14)