Since their formation in 2010, Melbourne’s progressive rock outfit Circles have been heavyweights of the genre. ‘The Last One’ is their upcoming third album, out on August 31st via Wild Thing Records and it’s proof of why the band has had the success and longevity that it has. The current line-up is vocalist and guitarist Ben Rechter, guitarist and backing vocalist Tim Furuhashi, bassist and unclean vocalist Drew Patton and drummer David Hunter.
Track one is Winter and it’s hard-hitting and heavy right from the off. There are influences of Karnivool all the way through the track, but they still have their own sound. There’s a groovy little guitar solo around the two minute mark of the track that makes you think of classic arcade games and the load screen between levels which is a nice touch.
Breaker is up next and those power chords are chugging from start to finish on this track. There is a nice mix of clean and screamed vocals from Rechter and Patton and the instrumental matches the harmonies. The track itself is a little bit of a rollercoaster with a stripped back and slower part halfway through the song and Rechter really gets a chance to show off his vocal chops before the heaviness kicks back in.
The Messenger is track three and the first thing that grabbed my attention was Hunter’s drums, and Patton’s bass. Patton gets a starring role in this track in terms of how prominent the bass line is and he definitely gets to show off his skill and talent with his instrument. The instrumentals throughout this track are cohesive and work really well together.
Track four is Arrival and it’s slower than the previous three tracks and it’s drummer Hunter that gets his chance to show off in this one. The drums are very clean and precise and it’s obvious that a lot of passion went into the recording. It’s one of the best tracks on the album for me, and could easily be listened to on repeat and not get boring.
Tether is the mid point of the album and it’s a great mix of light and shade in terms of sound. There are heavy breakdowns, as well as ‘lighter’ harmonies throughout. Next up is Resolution which opens with Rechter’s vocals, with the bass, drums and guitar coming in afterwards. This track could easily be mistaken for a Karnivool track, or even a Dream Theatre track in the latter half and is musically a gorgeous piece, adding in Rechter’s vocals tie the whole piece together nicely.
Dream Sequence is track seven and is the latest single to be released from the album. It’s an assault on your ears in the best way and really picks the pace of the album back up again after the previous two, slower tracks. There’s another great guitar solo in this track, provided by Furuhashi and it’s obvious he knows his way around his instrument. Another highlight of the album for me and hopefully as a single it will get the love it deserves.
Track eight is Renegade, and the first minute is synth and Rechter and then the drums are guitar kicks in. It’s a nice change of pace, while keeping true to the genre and the band. The drums fills and the bass complement each other nicely and there’s some really gorgeous guitar passages from Rechter and Furuhashi. Patton’s screamed vocals have a real ‘in your face’ feel to them.
Blueprints For A Great Escape is second to last and there are slight hints of Rob Zombie’s Foxy, Foxy throughout the track with the mix of guitar and electronic elements. The similarities stop there however, as the rest of the track is a punchy, in your face ride of power chords and vocal parts. The Karnivool influences are around in force again this track but that’s not a bad thing as it’s continuity.
The final track is Alone With Ghosts, and what a way to wrap up an album! From the atmospheric intro, to the ball-busting outro it’s a fantastic track. When you see 5.59 as a run time for a song, some people may get a little worried that it’s going to be repetitive but that’s definitely not the case with Alone With Ghosts. It’s a strong finish to a great album that is proof of why Circles have been around as long as they have!
Pre-order your copy of ‘The Last One’, out August 31st via Wild Thing Records HERE!