[14th October 2013]
02. On My Way
03. As It Is Above
04. So It Is Below
05. Another Me
06. Ground Shift
10. Wheels In Motion
11. The Signal (ft. Kin Twelve Foot Ninja)
12. Verum Infiniti
Kapow. There are times when an album reaches out through the speakers, grabs you and demands you pay attention. This is one of those times. After whetting our appetites with The Compass EP in 2011, the Aussie quintet Circles are back with their first full-length, Infinitas.
To perhaps an even greater extent than The Compass, Infinitas is a sleek and bombastic combination of high-octane riffing and towering, hook-laden melodies. After the breathy introduction to album opener “Erased“, the energy levels barely drop for the entirety of the run-time.
As Circles are signed to Basick Records, it should probably be unsurprising that the band’s sound has a distinctly djenty flavour. The band marry staccato riffing, ‘Milton Cleans’ atmospherics and extended-range breakdowns with soaraway vocals. The net result places them almost exactly halfway on the sonic spectrum between TesseracT and Monuments, with elements of Faith No More and Sevendust thrown in for good measure.
Infinitas is infused with pop sensibilities which make the tracks so immediate that you may well be singing along with the final repetition of the chorus on the first listen. A number of the songs carry choruses big enough to be visible from space.
But nevertheless, for all the melodious poppiness, the band can still pack a hefty punch when they choose to, and Infinitas is peppered with moments of meaty, lip-curling, down-tuned chug, and a number of particularly satisfying bass drops.
All of this comes together with great effect on the one-two combo of “As It Is Above” and “So It Is Below“. The songs share a refrain, but one that is delivered in two markedly different ways, neatly showcasing the impressive range of vocalist Perry Kakridas.
It is also faintly remarkable that Infinitas is a self-recorded effort, with guitarist Ted Furuhashi handling production duties. The recordings are rich and full, with the additional electronica bells and whistles sitting comfortably and sympathetically in the mix.
Somewhat peculiarly, whilst there isn’t really a weak track on the album, there isn’t really a stand-out one, either. This is no doubt testament to the overall quality of the release, but also speaks to the fact that the tracks all carry a very similar tempo and vibe. This lack of variety does mean the tracks somewhat blur into one another.
However, this is a debut album, and delivers exactly what a debut album should – a strong, clear statement of intent. These tracks are sure to sound immense in the small venues that have been booked for their first UK tour, timed to coincide with this release.
Infinitas proves without question that melody and djent are not mutually exclusive, and that there is more to the genre than hyper-downtuned chug and string bends. Providing the band can spread their wings a little more on subsequent releases, there will be great things in store for Circles.