have been so much better". That's what comes to mind after hearing this debut
album from the Aussie tech metal group Circles. Their second EP, "The Compass",
was impressive with its diversity.
song on that EP was different and had a great twist to it. Now, finally, Circles
manages to release their debut album, and I can't be any more disappointed in
the approach they took.
Circles have a
djenty style of music. The stuttering riffs they use are interesting right off
the bat, but I find that their keys are what really draw me into the music. So,
basically, Circles mixes electronic keys with djenty guitars, technical drums
and bass, and a high-pitched (almost emo) vocalist. It's not my favorite combo,
but it can be enjoyable.
The problem is
that Circles abandoned their sense of exploration. They used to mix in ethnic
twists or lush melodies. However, on their debut album "Infinitas", Circles have
gone for the more mainstream djent style. Gone is the exploration. Gone is the
emotion. Now, all we get are tracks that all sound the exact same. Literally.
Ominous, crunching riffs mean nothing when the tracks become indistinguishable
from one another. The worst offense, however, is the fact that the keys are
mostly mixed quietly. You can barely hear them! So, my favorite part of their
music is now missing almost entirely.
There is one
exception. I find the first track, "Erased", to be rather inventive. The keys
are actually heard in the mix here, and there is a cohesion to the song. I also
thought the collaboration with Twelve Foot Ninja on "The Signal" is a good
effort. The rest? The same convoluted mess of djenty riffs that are all
identical and a mix that eliminates melody.
definitely heard much, much worse from 2013. This album is simply average in
every respect. Had the rest of the album been like "Erased", you may have seen a
much better score. However, the album is simply flat and uninteresting. I hope
that Circles takes this to heart and remembers that technical finesse is nothing
without purpose and melody.