Now, I really hate the P word (progressive) and with the exception of the Von Hertzen Brothers, really don't much like or listen to 'prog' music. Nothing wrong with it per se, just not my bag.
So, when I get the press release and see that they call this bloody brilliant band 'progressive' Metal, it nearly puts me right off before the CD even hits the stereo. As far as I can see, it's just a lazy ass way of describing something so off the wall, far out and downright unusual as the music this stunningly original band play.
Admittedly, finding a suitable description for this Australian Metal band isn't easy as these guys fuse, with innate ease, influences and styles from many quarters and meld them with their utterly unique take on Metal. Basically, adjectives aside, the closest I can come to getting their sound across is if Voivod, Dream Theater and Faith No More got together one insane night and produced a bastard child, this would be Circles.
Released on May 16th, 'The Compass' is a six track mini EP from these Australian Metallers consisting of Perry Kakridas: Vocals, Ted Furuhashi: Guitar, Dave Hunter: Drums, Matty Clarke: Guitar and Drew Patton: Bass, and bearing in mind they've only been together a year, it is an amazing piece of work.
Winding in on weird and wonderful synths and rasping guitars, the intricate 'The Frontline' blends subtle melodies and Mike Patton-esque vocals, feather light touches before twisting and turning into gut ripping, bellowing screams, Kakridas switching between both styles with consummate ease. There's no doubt that this man has some serious vocal range.
Throughout each track, Circles are relentless in their pursuit of the unusual, injecting intricate shots of Jazz and Groove into battering ram hardcore Metal - 'Clouds Are Gathering', careering between soaring melodies, tortured screams and throat shredding growls - 'Act 111', synths and guitars inextricably entwined over frenzied drumming - 'The Design', in all, the underlying swathe of towering Metal driving along irresistibly catchy songs.
The Compass is a stunning, and incredibly complex body of music that raises them head and shoulders above the norm and is a must for anyone that has even a hint of Metal in their soul!