Circle- Rakennus
(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.

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Reviewed by Scott Heller

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