Circa Survive
Descensus


2.5
average

Review

by SimpleM USER (14 Reviews)
November 25th, 2014 | 14 replies


Release Date: 11/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With a new label change and a so called "heavier sound", Circa Survive's new LP is a very disappointing release.

I've always had a place in my heart for Anthony Green. I remember when I was in high school and Saosin started to get popular, "Translating the name" was always a favorite of mine. When he left that direction and started his new band Circa Survive, of course I had High hopes. "Juturna" was one of the first albums that I bought on vinyl, and of course it was a very solid record. Their next album "On Letting Go", didn't do anything different than Juturna, but it was a very enjoyable record through and through. They decided to do something different with "Blue Sky Noise", and created more of an Indie rock, experimental sound. This album quickly became one of my favorite albums by them, playing it over and over again. During the time of these three records, they switched around different labels on each one, and with their fouth album "Violent Waves", they released it themselves independently. It was a great record, taking pages out of Blue Sky Noise's book, capitalizing on the sound that they engraved on Blue Sky and built upon that. Now with their newest record "Descensus", they have a new label, Sumerian Records, and Anthony Green promised a "Heavy sound", and the hype build up for the record was immense. Now with the album out, how does all that hype hold up"

The first track starts with the first single of the album, "Schema". The song is fast, loud, intricate, and has Circa written all over it. This song is probably the best song off of the album and you can probably see why it is. The sad thing about this is, after this song, the LP seems to really go downhill afterwards. I can't put my finger on it, but there seems to be something wrong with the production on this album. It just seems very bland and boring, and their other records don't have this feeling at all. With the third track "Always Begin", the production comes full through with the sound, and It just doesn't feel impacting or long lasting. Believe it or not, really none of these tracks left an impression on me because most of them sound the same as one another, with a boring and slow moving sound. Anthony Green's voice is different in this album as well. It feels that he isn't invested in what he's singing. He just seems tired and usually sings in the same tone throughout the whole record, with no emotion whatsoever like the other albums that came out before. There is also this very out of place interlude in the middle of the album, with only running at 54 seconds. With only 10 tracks on the album, it just feels lazy that they included this, where they could've put in another song. Most of the tracks sound like slow moving filler, like the album is full of unreleased B-sides by the band.

In conclusion, if you're a big Circa Survive fan, you'll probably have mixed feelings on this, but if you're not a die hard fan, there's not reason to listen to this. It doesn't try anything different or experiment at all like how Blue Sky Noise did. It really leaves a lot to be wanted, and the only track I truly enjoyed on this was the opener. I don't know if the new record label is at fault for this album, but it did not leave an impression on me at all. You think with a more "heavy" sound, the album would be more heavy, but the only "heavy" song on this album is the opener, "Schema". This album is their worst in my opinion, and I expected a lot more from this.



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user ratings (572)
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...

Nick Mongiardo (4)
Descensus showcases Anthony Green at the top of his game and also proves to be some of the band's be...

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


Comments:Add a Comment 
SimpleM
November 25th 2014


120 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You can stream the full album here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH22-xSMERQqUX3ogTqRNTqgzOZbdoxeW



It's been a while since I reviewed something so enjoy

Leatherneck
November 25th 2014


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

To me it seems like you played the youtube video of Schema 5 or 6 times, liked it, and then when it came out you gave the rest of the a album only one full listen and found it 'boring'. you never explain why you think 'fast' or 'heavy' is better than 'slow moving' and to be honest, even if we agree that most of the record is rather slow-paced, i think it's lazy to just say that all songs sound the same when there are clear differences on composition, themes, arrengements etc...

LightChaotic
November 25th 2014


168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Anthony Green's voice is different in this album as well. It feels that he isn't invested in what he's singing. He just seems tired and usually sings in the same tone throughout the whole record, with no emotion whatsoever like the other albums that came out before."



Is that supposed to be... sarcasm? Or... I mean... the chorus of "Sovereign Circle". Everything in "Always Begin"... the ending of "Child of the Desert". There's a ridiculous amount of passion in the vocals here.

Parap
November 25th 2014


11 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Anthony's vocals are different because he's aged quite a bit since juturna. I mean he was just a kid back then. I wouldn't say he's tired or lacking passion though. Also.. You really have to listen to everything the album has to offer, not just Anthony lol

betray
November 25th 2014


9387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's lazy to just say that all songs sound the same when there are clear differences on composition, themes, arrengements etc... [2]

elephantREVOLUTION
November 25th 2014


2971 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i can't decide how i feel about this album. it's somewhere between a 3 and 4 but i keep going back and forth

SimpleM
November 25th 2014


120 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@Leatherneck I listened to it twice in a row. all the tracks have different composition and arrangements but follow the same straight-forward path as the rest of the tracks, there is little change. It lacks structure and uniqueness between tracks, that's my opinion.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2014


16067 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

certainly not as good as people say it is but i dont tink its bad.

LightChaotic
November 25th 2014


168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know opinions and everything... but how does Schema sound like Child of the Desert? Or anything else on the record sound like Nesting Dolls? Let alone Phantom?

Celtics2448
November 25th 2014


21 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bad review, you clearly didn't give the album enough tries and you spent most of it only talking about the singer and comparing it to Blue Sky Noise.



Honestly try this more if you really like this band, it was a 2.5 at first for me but it's grown quite a bit. This and Blue Sky Noise didn't hit me at first, and BSN never really did to be honest.

po0ty
November 25th 2014


579 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i disagree with pretty much everything you said about descensus lol

paradox1216
Emeritus
November 27th 2014


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah not enough spins were given, this one didn't hit till my third, and it's a success in every way

TheCollectiveFacade
November 27th 2014


1271 Comments


you should give this more of a listen as mentioned in here, as all progressive "movements" seem to be the depth usually only grows in time

Nomos
November 28th 2014


1737 Comments


While this review doesn't go into a ton of detail, I more or less agree with it. I probably need to listen
a few more times, but I'm not a fan of grower albums like this. Schema is great. I also love the title
track and the riffs therein. But everything else is just sort of...boring. Floating along in monotone.
Phoning it in. Etc.

At least, compared to Blue Sky Noise, which I feel is a high they may not see again. I know they aimed for
a totally different vibe this time around. Guess I'm a bigger fan of Circa doing highly melodic and
immediate songs over stuff like this. It's not bad -- in fact, it's better than most stuff being released
today -- but it's not as good as their older stuff in my opinion.

But all of this is indicative of a grower. The songs will differentiate themselves better over time, and I
might adjust my score then.

I initially typo'd that as "dongs" and was super-tempted to keep it in.



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