Review Summary: Circle Takes the Square pound out a new album filled to the rims with fury and complete evisceration...
It seems rather difficult (or, completely inevitable) to review a new Circle Takes the Square album without scanning over the band's previous work. One of the first positive attributes of this new release is the clarity, conciseness. I had listened to the band's well acclaimed As the Roots Undo from 2004 just a couple of years ago, and I was mildly affected by it's feral craze. For some reason, the album never clicked with me. I was a bit more attracted to their self-titled EP/album. And I can recall hearing the monotonous chatter (in 2009/2010, perhaps) when announcement of a new album came about. Of course, with time's elapse, this new release had completely slipped my mind. Checking the vast interweb only to find Decompositions may have been the moment of hope: Amongst an infinite horde of mediocre, and even horrid albums, I had found a spark to keep my hope for music alive.
By the album's fifteen minute mark, I was convinced: Circle Takes the Square has grown so much since As the Roots Undo. The band intertwines wonderful melodies, heavy riffs and a beautiful, scenic backdrop of experimental, metallic guitar work to build an album that simply grows more and more versatile as it progresses. I might venture to call this a Dark Side of the Moon for this progressive form of hardcore. I have heard quite a few albums in which the songs are all meant to play out as one long monologue, though I must say that Circle Takes the Square can actually pull it off without ever delivering a boring moment or becoming too monotonous. They manage to create beautiful soundscapes regardless of how the band is working. From the warm melodies of "Way of Ever Branching Paths" to the destructive, extreme velocity of "Preface by the Signal Fires", CTTS will pull you in like an 80's slasher film, and keep you stationary and your ears satisfied for the album's entirety: nearly one hour of furious hardcore that can even surpass many mainstream post-hardcore albums.
I recommend pressing "play", and then allowing the album to sink into your mind as one lengthy song. Worry not for separating the tracks by title. Simply allow them to be a single, continuous blast of fury in your ears. Listen closely to the hard work that CTTS has put into this 55-minute collection, and feel it's effect in your own personal way.