Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Tech Metal
Release date: 14 October, 2013
Playing time: 54:47

"It could 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. Every single 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.

Now, I've 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.

01. Erased
02. On My Way
03. As It Is Above
04. So It Is Below
05. Another Me
06. Ground Shift
07. Responses
08. Visions
09. Radiant
10. Wheels In Motion
11. The Signal (ft. Kin / Twelve Foot Ninja)
12. Verum Infiniti 
Label: Basick Records
Distribution: Hold Tight PR
Artwork rating: 80/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 17 January, 2014
Website: www.circlesband.com