(Ektro Records Ektro048)
From Aural Innovations #38 (Jan 2008)
Ok.. this is yet another live record from Circle but this one comes flying
hot off the press as this gig was only played on Sept 27th 2007 and already
released on CD less than 2 months later! The band spent 3 weeks touring the
USA this fall and I guess this gig was quite special (they record all the concerts).
IT was recorded in Charlottesville VA. The band really hides the information
about this CD. I just now noticed the tracks and info written in small print
in the small gap under the tray to the left. Anyway, this catches the band in
high form playing that crazy mixture of heavy metal and spaced out stuff. As
far as I can tell it is basically all new material as none of these tracks are
listed on their last several CDs (just checked). Some of these tracks were played
at Roadburn festival (you can hear the broadcast). Anyway, the band easy you
in and make you feel comfortable and then Gazooooommmmmm…. The groove
begins and Mika uses both harmonica and vocalizations to transport the listener..
Another repetitive HM tunes follows with Mika really singing intensely. You
can hear the audience totally getting into it as it gets faster and faster.
After this 3rd HM tune, things change a bit with the 10½ minute Tumat,
which is quite cool and laid back with piano and a totally different vocal style
and quite intense and almost operatic music takes us into the uptempo and more
spacey Virsi. Very operatic… but then the metal returns but with some
keyboards that were not on the earlier tracks.. This is pure metal riffing not
guitar solos… Murheenkryyni is an extremely dramatic piece of music with
Mika putting 100% into his powerful vocal performance. Incredible. The band
come back for an encore, which is strange piano piece with strange vocal chanting
like acid mothers temple does sometimes. A very good two track audience recording
though… If you like the current track that Circle are taking you will
dig this for sure.
Check out the Circle web site at: http://www.circlefinland.com
Visit the record label web site at: http://www.ektrorecords.com/
Reviewed by Scott Heller