Circa Survive
Descensus


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (133 Reviews)
December 1st, 2014 | 343 replies


Release Date: 11/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Descensus showcases Anthony Green at the top of his game and also proves to be some of the band's best material to date.

“I never want to see clear at all,” Anthony Green exclaims with an astounding amount of passion in the chorus of “Schema.” Ironically, Descensus happens to be where not only Green, but the entire band sees a crystal clear sense of musicianship that fans yearned to see from them on Violent Waves and be rest assured that fans can now rejoice! Essentially, Descensus exists as an accumulation of everything that makes this band great. Melodies, passionate singing and their signature style of playing with the normal song structure of rock songs are all alive and well here. They even manage to try new things here by straying into post rock territory at some points on this record and as one could expect, Descensus proves to be some of the band’s best work to date.

As stated before, the band chose to not stick to their typical formula by tweaking their sound a bit on some songs here. For example, “Nesting Dolls” features the band straying into an unexpected post rock turn and the payoff happens to be immensely satisfying and emotional. Driven by a beautiful atmosphere, broken lyrics and Anthony’s heartfelt performance in the first half, this part only sets the stage for what is to come. Once the second half comes around, the song builds and builds by means of the guitar providing textures and the climb continues for quite a bit. Soon enough, the buildup in “Nesting Dolls” comes full circle with the band delivering shoegazing elements of sheer emotional power. In addition to the complete 180 in this song, “Schema” sees the band showcasing some of their heaviest work to date. Green once again soars as the star of the track with his vocals showcasing endless amounts of passion and to top it all off, everyone else in the band proves to be equally involved in the experience. Another example of the band’s increased musicianship would be “Child of the Desert” where the whole song builds to an intense conclusion. While the song as a whole is nothing mind blowing, the payoff is incredible, with Green belting out epic vocals and Brendan Ekstrom showing off talented guitar work.

While the songs mentioned above exist as the definite highlights, other tracks like “Phantom” and “Always Begin” also features some excellent work from the band. “Always Begin” is anchored by Green’s undeniably incredible performance and his lyrics shine through here too. Though certainly not the best lyricist around, the line “Always Begin before you ever prepare/Never think twice about it all” happens to be a fantastic line about how we should always take risks. Meanwhile, “Phantom” is the most unique track on the record. Driven by Green’s beautiful vocals and the guitar work providing a textured atmosphere with the bass. Though not the best song on the record, it’s certainly different for Circa Survive and proves to be quite the soothing listen.

However, not every song on the record lives up to the potential of the more superior songs and unfortunately, the biggest offenders of this flaw lays in the final two tracks which is disappointing. In “Sovereign Circles,” Anthony provides a beautiful performance as usual, but instrumentally it fails to showcase anything truly interesting. Even with that said, at least it’s actually a decent track unlike the closing track which follows directly after. The title track falls victim to overwhelmingly repetitive song writing and overlong length to the extreme here. It starts out promising and the listener expects the song to build up to something just like in “Nesting Dolls,” but no dice. Instead, for the latter six minutes, it slows down to the same exact bass and guitar riff until the very end of the album. Green’s layered vocals add a bit of variety into the mix in the last couple of minutes, but it can’t save the monotonous nature of the song unfortunately.

Despite the underwhelming closing tracks, Descensus still proves to be an impressive edition to Circa Survive’s discography and to 2014 in general. Though not perfect, their take on experimental rock is nothing short of refreshing here and their attempt at new territory here pays off to great effect. Admittedly for newcomers, Anthony Green’s vocals can be a bit jarring due to his tone, but be sure to not let that be the deterring factor of Circa Survive. His voice is a real grower and the more that this is listened to, the listener will realize how he’s at the top of his game here as well as the rest of the band. Not only is this record a fantastic starting place for newcomers, but it also happens to be one of their best records to date.



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user ratings (508)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Dillon T. (4.5)
A fantastic effort by Circa Survive that epitomizes the strengths of the band and blends together th...

Beauville88 (2)
An undeniably beautiful but ultimately unsatisfying and empty mess of an album....

P (2.5)
With a new label change and a so called "heavier sound", Circa Survive's new LP is a very disappoint...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


18820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sup guys, any critiques are welcome and seriously, try out Schema and Nesting Dolls!

Atari
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2014


22536 Comments


fuck yes

betray
December 1st 2014


9121 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review mongi



Agreed with most of your points, would be a 5 if it closed out properly

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


18820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys. Yea the title track is a bummer.

Ecnalzen
December 1st 2014


7143 Comments


Never was fond of Green's voice. Does he still sound the same here?

betray
December 1st 2014


9121 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the same, but better

Dunpeal
December 1st 2014


4147 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

smae, i feel like less of a man every time i listen to green's vocals





quite honestly, these vocals cause my labia majora to flare up

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


18820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you listen Schema you'd be pleasantly surprised I'd say. He's more refined here and sounds less...feminine for a lack of a better term in lots of parts here now which is why this would be a great starting place is say. He's grown on me a lot.

betray
December 1st 2014


9121 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"sounds less...feminine for a lack of a better term"



perfect way to describe it tbh



his voice has a little more edge this time around



and not like chad kroeger edge, the good kind.

Dunpeal
December 1st 2014


4147 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm surprised green is a male. it rustles my jimmies quite hard tbh and causes me great gender dysphoria

DarthHideous1
December 1st 2014


171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this record. It has grown on me heavily. Nesting Dolls rules hard

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2014


39156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet review mongi mindpos

< 3 you dun

Digging: Soundtrack (Television) - BoJack Horseman

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So, is this worth a shot?

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


18820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks rowbro! And EO yes man try it it's sweet

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2014


39156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oranges if you love me you'll try this

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Where are you guys listening to this? I can't find a stream anywhere.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


18820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well last I checked the full album was on YouTube.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2014


39156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Or just torrent that motherfucker (Anthony if you're reading this I'm sorry my love)

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It ain't there, and apparently: https://twitter.com/circasurvive/status/538496035568361473



So yeah, probably not gonna bother with this if that's the case.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2014


39156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just torrent that motherfucker [2]



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