Circa Survive
Violent Waves


4.5
superb

Review

by taxidermist USER (16 Reviews)
August 28th, 2012 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There must be a way to understand the things you do, without getting too close to you.

When it comes to the strengths and weaknesses of Circa Survive, and the glue that holds them together, many would easily point the finger at front man Anthony Green. Since their inception, Circa Survive have garnered massive amounts of hype and critical acclaim because of Green's over the top vocal ability. Many would consider Green himself to be the X-factor in the band, but Circa Survive would never work if it was a one man show. Green has always needed Circa Survive backing him in order to bring out the best of his vocal ability and have him truly shine. Aside from Green's amazing vocals, the band themselves always worked together cohesively to put together some of the most infectious melodies that, from start to finish, challenge the listener to listen again and again, patiently, while absorbing everything over time until it all clicks and you, the listener, are treated with music that can be described as breathtaking.

Violent Waves is no different. From the start, Circa follow the tradition of having a very strong opener, and the listener is welcomed with the seven minute epic, Birth of the Economic Hit man. Quite different from the sound Circa Survive crafted in their third LP, [/i]Blue Sky Noise (2010), Circa return with their more experimental/atmospheric elements found in their earlier work, Juturna (2005) and On Letting Go (2007). The magic between the band is still there and the fan favorite Anthony Green screams found in Blue Sky Noise return in the peak of the chorus with Green exclaiming at the top of his lungs, "NOTHING IS SACRED." Shortly after the second chorus, the song takes a brief interlude that screams Juturna and allows the old school fans to rejoice in its mind bending glory before returning to the chorus and ending.

Followed by the intro track is Sharp Practice, a track that packs a walloping punch and is obviously taking shots at Atlantic, the record label that signed Circa Survive for BSN. Green yells "You get what you pay for. We can't sell our god damn souls anymore. Don't let them give you the run around again!" One can only assume through the heartfelt lyrics that maybe, despite a stellar album, a major label wasn't the right home for the band, leading to the self release of Violent Waves.

Traces of their old work are found throughout the album, which is a plus for any fan of their previous albums, but, like always, Circa manage to outdo themselves and shine with other beautiful tracks such as My Only Friend, which starts with a dreamy guitar riff and at about a minute in, the song comes together beautifully with Green crooning, "...in hopes that you let him in..." and later delivering some heartfelt lyrics such as "Have you been waiting so long? I know no one ever gets to control your love, so, why follow anyone?" Another example of the heartfelt beauty shown throughout the album is with the epic track, Brother Song. Starting with an ambient chord progression, the rest of the band follows suit and they all manage to carry the song beautifully as a collective, and Green harmonizing with them and in his heartfelt singing voice, getting out his message, "Oh, there must be a way to understand the things you say, without letting it get to me. Oh, I'm already used to being locked out of your life. And I won't share your anger! It doesn't do me any good to feel, and we can't say our feelings the right way." The track then ends with a calming melody to close out the emotional chaos that was portrayed.

The only thing wrong with the album in my opinion is the closing track. Circa Survive have always been known to have a tremendous ender. House of Leaves, All Your Friends Are Gone, and Compendium/Dyed in the Wool. All have their own unique qualities and have managed to earn their place as fan favorites. Violent Waves' closer, I'll Find A Way, manages to be just ok. A good track nonetheless, but not exactly the explosive closer I, as a fan, have come to expect from the band. Once it does end, though, we are treated to the same calm ending that we heard in Brother Song, which in a way I guess, satisfies me to a certain extent, since the whole album is a rollercoaster of Circa Survive's progression as a band to the present day.

Violent Waves succeeds in so many ways. Whether it be the return of their experimental elements, or the bits where Green manages to absolutely lose it in the studio on their edgier tracks (Sharp Practice, The Lottery). There's a little bit of everything in there for every Circa fan old and new. Violent Waves is a look into the future of Circa Survive with it being their first self released LP an them being in creative control of everything. Violent Waves clocks in at fifty-five minutes and is a challenging listen at first, but giving it it's deserved time/amount of listens, it will definitely win you over with its beautifully crafted atmosphere.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
taxidermist
August 28th 2012


7212 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Fanboy alert! C'mon, you knew I'd love it. Review sucks.

mindleviticus
August 28th 2012


8331 Comments


Review's good, This album is awesome.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2012


10676 Comments


"but Circa Survive would never work if it was a one man show. Green has always needed Circa Survive backing him in order to bring out the best of his vocal ability and have him truly shine. "

this 100%, but...

"Aside from Green's amazing vocals"

I think Green's uniqueness is the draw. On his latest solo album, his vocals were awful. As a vocalist he is great and knows how to use his voice well, but when it isn't uber-produced his voice is shrill and annoying.



Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2012


10676 Comments


"House of Leaves, All Your Friends Are Gone, and Compendium/Dyed in the Wool"

I agree. All of those are so fucking good. House of Leaves is hands down my favorite Circa song and a favorite of mine overall. So kewl

wacknizzle
August 28th 2012


13733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great review man, I totally agree with your perspective. And I'm glad you mentioned Brother Song, I find it to be truly amazing and heartfelt, one of the album's best highlights.

Digging: The Black Heart Rebellion - Monologue

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2012


4460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent work, mate. POS'd.
As an avid fan of Juturna (Which I consider their best), I was glad to hear them return to an atmospheric sound.

pornogratherapy
August 28th 2012


100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nice review dude.

taxidermist
August 28th 2012


7212 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Thanks dudes.

What tracks are you guys' favorites? I have to go with Birth, Brother, Blood, and My Only Friend. Though I love the whole thing, haha.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2012


10676 Comments


My Only Friend is hands down my least favorite, taxi : [

Mine are The Lottery and Blood From a Stone, with Birth creeping in there too

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2012


10676 Comments


Ranked, because why the fuck not??

The Lottery-4.5
Blood From a Stone-4
Birth-4
Sharp practice-4
Phantasmogoria-4
Brother Song-3.5
Bird Sounds-3
I'll Find a Way-3
Suitcase-3
Think of Me When they Sound-3
My Only Friend-2 ( I really have no Idea why I don't like this)

taxidermist
August 29th 2012


7212 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

My Only Friend is hands down my least favorite, taxi : [

Awww, my heart

taxidermist
August 29th 2012


7212 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Maybe it'll grow on you, though. That's the one thing about this album. It's a grower. Blood From a Stone kicks so much ass, though. Think Of Me When They Sound might be my least favorite track.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2012


10676 Comments


WANNA BRING YOU BACK TO LIIIIIIIIIFE

taxidermist
August 29th 2012


7212 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

If that would have been the final track, maybe I would've liked it more. Fuck it. Still rules.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2012


10676 Comments


I want so badly to love this you have no idea

c0ffee
August 29th 2012


285 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I find my favorite section to be the tracks between (and including) My Only Friend and Blood From A Stone. That span of six tracks is home to me.

taxidermist
August 29th 2012


7212 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Thanks for the nice comment, bud :-)

taxidermist
August 30th 2012


7212 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, me either :p

taxidermist
August 31st 2012


7212 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I find my favorite section to be the tracks between (and including) My Only Friend and Blood From A Stone. That span of six tracks is home to me.

Yes, strong section.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2012


7159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Posed the review, it's well written except the last sentence in the first paragraph is a clusterfuck of commas IMO.

Gonna need to listen to this more and see if I grow to like it as much as you. This is one of my favorite bands but I kind of feel like this is their worst full-length effort. I like a lot of the ideas and experimentation here but I feel like it doesn't all always come together the way it should, and the rawer production doesn't do AG's voice any favors - not to mention his voice isn't utilized as well as it is on BSN or Juturna, but I'm not sure it would be good if it was because of how it sounds.



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