Circle - "Sunrise"
Ektro Records 2001, Ektro-019)
From Aural Innovations #21 (October 2002)
Circle have been very productive the past several years and the addition of Mika on vocals on nearly every song has changed the band from the all instrumental more slowly developing band to one that is quite intense. This CD is the most varied of any Circle CD to date with a mixture of more acoustic songs with some of the hardest material the band has ever recorded. The opening number of the CD, "Nopeuskuninigas" is almost speed metal in nature with a very intense heavy metal guitar and bass with intense singing. The band have never done a song quite like this. "Satulinnut" is acoustic and totally different for Circle as well and could be on a Moon Fog Prophet record (Mika sings in that band) and seems to be influenced by some of the soft material by Acid Mothers Temple. "Hautain Takaa" takes us into the lands of more intense material again but features some interesting keyboards at the beginning and again later in the track. Very cool song. "Vaanen Valtiatar" is another soft number and is followed by "Kylšn Suurin Miekka", which starts with an almost doom metal like riff but then mellows with the layers of gothic style keyboard. A strange song, this one. "Rautakotka" is a long spaced out song with some cellos or violins. Far out. "Paholaisratsataja and Lokki" (15 min) close this quite excellent CD.
More variety of this CD than the usual Circle CD. Love the artwork on the CD and good to see the band continuing to progress and test the waters. If you have never heard Circle before, I would suggest picking this one up first. Great stuff.
For more information you can visit the Ektro Records web site at: http://www.ektrorecords.com.
Reviewed by Scott Heller