Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Circle - Katapult

Terrific 2007 album by the prolific and inspired Finnish lunatics. Circle have probably put out more excellent music in the last decade than any other band. Their forte is riff-heavy cosmic jamming, often in brain twisting time signatures: the album Prospekt is a good example of this, and I would have uploaded that one if I'd realised that it's currently unavailable. Also, they do space epics (Arkades)...basically, it's hard to go wrong with a Circle album. What I like about this one is that it has a great deal of vocals on it. Vocalist and band mainstay Jussi Lehtisalo has a kind of deranged, sometimes operatic, growling, dramatic delivery, that is at once awesome and hilarious. On this album it is generally smothered in reverb. Opener 'Saturnus Reality' gives a good idea of what is to come as it goes straight for the jugular, but 'Understanding New Age' has some amazing delivery (possibly not all by Jussi Lehtisalo , it's hard to tell). The music is hard to describe, veering from buzzing thrashing walls of guitars (I'm sure I read that this album was their homage to black metal influences). Often the guitars are chugging - the band refer to themselves as NWOFHM - New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal, but everything is always refracted through a hazy fog, and there are certainly no harsh edges anywhere. Instrumental 'Tree On The Higher Mountain' evokes a pastoral folky fug, and 'Four Points Of The Compass' is driven along with Kraut type synths. 'Fish Reflection' follows with what could almost be a Saxon riff, undermined by some abstract gentle guitar plucking, and some of the craziest vocals you could wish to hear, and is a work of inspired genius.
Underneath all the derangement, though, there is a lot of beautiful music, which is probably what makes this such a hugely enjoyable and inspiring listen.



mr.A said...

Happy christmass and thanks for the tunes.

and ofcourse keep up the good work!!!

peace. mr.A

Yogradius said...

Thanks, Mr A, and Happy Christmas to all readers of my blog!

Poltroon said...

Checked this last week, late into the night. Happily, I was watching the Vancouver action with the sound down: "Fire and iiiice.....raaaain and snoooooww...."

Splendid weirdness!

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot!