Circle - "Tulikoira"
(Ektro Records 2005, EKTRO-033)
From Aural Innovations #32 (November 2005)
Circle has released a gazillion albums over the years and have covered a great deal of stylistic territory, yet always manage to maintain their own unique character. Tulikoira is their latest and on this outing Circle establish their own brand of heavy metal.
The CD opens wth "Rautakäärme", which is high energy metal with a distinct Circle style. You ain't heard metal like this before. It's heavy metal, and it's progressive… but it's neither, and it's not prog-metal (I hate that term). It's extremely dark and intense, doomy, trancey, and will most certainly blow your head off. "Tulilintu" is a relatively brief but ass kicking song. Miika Rättö is a phenomenal singer. There's no one like him. This is blazing, waaaaay outside the box metallic rock n roll. "Berserk" is a doomy, spaced out, groove laden track. Phantom of the Opera for the haunted house dance floor and perhaps a bit on the theatrical experimental side (if that makes any sense). Finally, we have the 24 minute "Puutiikeri". LOTS happening here, with several segments consisting of the most traditional sounding heavy metal of the set. Yet the music traverses through many dimensions, incorporating the same doomy atmospherics as heard on "Berserk", but also lots of freaky electronica, avant space rock, and good old shit kicking rock n roll jamming. But that's not all. there's also lots of freeform, darkly intense sound explorations, all of which feel like an extended buildup that's perpetually threatening to explode. What a ride. This sucker will make you dizzy. It's ultimately a tough one to describe and I know veteran Circle fans will understand that challenge.
I picked up this CD from the band when they played here in Columbus, Ohio a couple months ago on their US tour and this was the kind of stuff they were performing. WOW!! What a show! This is one of the most truly unique bands in the world.
For more information you can visit the Circle web site at: http://www.circlefinland.com.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz