Circle Takes the Square – Decompositions: Volume Number One


Album

Decompositions: Volume Number One

Label

Gatepost

Year

2012

For Fans Of

Rolo Tomassi – Code Orange Kids – Fear Before the March of Flames

Summary

Moody and emotional sophomore release.

Rating

75 / 100

It has been a marathon not a sprint with Savannah noise crew Circle Takes the Square. Eleven years since a debut EP and eight years in between studio albums, only now are fans presented with a sophomore release – ‘Decompositions: Volume Number One’.

What parametres can we put on Circle Takes the Square? Are they screamo? Experimental? Post rock? It matters little. What the sound is though is brooding and emotional. It’s piercing with its gloom and atmosphere. It’s moody if nothing else and stretches the range throughout.

The tag-team, gender contrast of vocals between Drew Speziale and Kathy Stubelek works effectively again. The sound has remained very consistent. It hasn’t developed or progressed much over the journey, however the fact the music still sounds fresh and inviting is a tick in the band’s favour. It’s almost like, “you know the drill, now get on with enjoying it.” Simple enough really.

For an album and style dripping with such obvious musical sentiment it’s admirable the music remains cohesive and steady. It can wear you down after while and perhaps it does, but you can look the other way for the most part.

A six-minute opener is indicative of the tone. The music is not necessarily sharp and precise, it instead seems to move around feeding off feel rather than structure. Opener ‘Enter By the Narrow Gates’ might engage, but not in a physical, upbeat manner. Instead, it ebbs and flows, going deep then giving way to mellow moments. ‘Spirit Narrative’ begins more assertively, while tracks like ‘The Ancestral Other Side’ and ‘Preface by the Signal Fires’ have moments of sharp, metallic quality – particularly in the vocal department. If Dani Filth decided to ditch the corpse paint and go post-hardcore, maybe this would be the end result? Concluding track ‘North Star Inverted’ wraps up in rather tranquil fashion.

Decompositions: Volume Number One’ is an absorbing listen. Whether good or bad, it seems to work and there are enough positives here. However, it can be a sombre listen if not in the required state of mind for this particular style of music.

Conclusion

Circle Takes the Square deliver an assortment of tones and sensations on ‘Decompositions: Volume Number One’. At times it’s a cascading listen, at other equal moments a solemn experience. The constant though is fans should enjoy what’s offered.

Tracklisting

1. Enter By The Narrow Gates
2. Spirit Narrative
3. Way Of Ever-Branching Paths
4. The Ancestral Other Side
5. Prefaced By The Signal Fires
6. A Closing Chapter (Scarlet Rising)
7. Singing Vengeance Into Being
8. Arrowhead As Epilogue
9. North Star, Inverted

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