Oct 142013

(Victimized by technological unreliability, TheMadIsraeli has been absent from our pages recently, but returns with this review of the new album by Australia’s Circles, which is out today via Basick Records.)

I’m finally back after experiencing another hard-drive crash and trying to get back on my feet with school and all.  Thankfully I have all this week off, so expect fuck tons of shit coming your way.

This band, and this album, represent what may very well be the epitome of the dirty word/guilty pleasure/shit you just shouldn’t like as a metalhead.  I have three dreaded genre names, and these guys are in all three.  Ready?

Djent, Nu metal, and Alt metal.

I know. But bear with me.

I’ve talked about Circles before, when I reviewed their debut EP here on NCS.  For me to appropriately address this album I think I need to go into a bit of surmising.  It’s safe to say that a lot of metal heads, whether they want to admit it or not, can appreciate a good pop metal record once in awhile (think Mercenary’s Darker Days Ahead, which appeared earlier this year), though more often than not we tend to be unwilling to admit this.  Sometimes you just want something that’s heavy enough, but has the hooks and melodies that will stay in your head for days. Continue reading »

Jun 032011

(NCS contributor Israel Flanders returns for the third time this week with his review of the most recent EP from Australia’s Circles. This is yet another discovery for us by Israel that we think is well worth your time.)

Let’s just establish something here before I get started… Circles is NOT a djent band, and they shouldn’t be getting lumped in with that genre.  These guys are better than the over-saturated circle jerk which that scene has become, and it’s almost offensive to me that they’re put in that category.  With that said, let’s move on.

So WHAT ARE Circles?  The easiest answer I can give you is an Australian band who generate a Sevendust-style of groove metal, but maybe even better than Sevendust, and that’s saying something.  This band know how to lay down the groove and lay it down thick.  We’re here to review Circles’ second EP (on Basick Records) called The Compass, and it’s truly a powerful package. Though it includes only 6 songs, it trumps a lot of what is out there right now.

The album opens with “The Frontlines”, which introduces itself through some funky, turntable-like synth sounds and immediately goes into a weighty, distorted groove.  The verse riff fades in with some cool orchestral stuff above it and immediately moves into a very bendy groove riff with powerful, soulful vocal lines over it.  This is where Circles’ greatest strength comes into play — their ability to write powerful, memorable melodies ALL OF THE TIME! (more after the jump — including the chance to hear all the tracks on the EP . . .) Continue reading »