Circa Survive have always been a band that I deeply admire, respect and spend a very selective amount of time with. Something about their sound chills me in a way that I am not always prepared to experience. The band’s debut album Juturna got me on the hook with the urgency and lyricism of tracks like Act Appalled and The Glorious Nosebleed. The entire album is a rich, haunting experience as is their follow-up record On Letting Go, which ramps up the dark themes by exploring depression, religion and suicide (Check out Living Together, In The Morning and Amazing and The Difference Between Medicine and Poison). I was on the hook and stayed with them for the next couple of albums (Blue Sky Noise, Violent Waves) which were great releases but had a distinctly different feeling than the first two albums- cleaner, less layered, more “produced”.
Circa Survive recently revealed a new cut off of their upcoming album “Descensus” that demonstrates a return to familiar territory. Only the Sun begins a slow climb before releasing the listener into waves of eerie layered riffs and soaring vocals from mastermind Anthony Green. “Turn this away, censor every word I say” Green croons as guitarist Colin Frangicetto steers the chaos of the song into another orbit, one that eventually ends in doubled vocals, echoed melodies and rapid fire percussion.
Only the Sun and the heavier, simpler-but-no-less-awesome Schema (released earlier this month) prove that Circa Survive has no shortage of ideas, no lack of divine skill and just as much heart and soul as they possessed over ten years ago.