Last night (14th October) I was fortunate enough to witness Australian progressive metal band Circles kick-off their five-date, UK leg of their European tour, with an intimate album launch gig at Avondale House in Southampton. Circles began in 2010 as part of the recent wave of ‘djent’ bands to emerge and soon became one of the frontrunners, due to a constant output of high quality progressive songs, which mix a signature djent guitar attack with electronic elements and excellent melodies.
Local Southampton band Fraktions started the night off with their hectic brand of metalcore and djent, sailing effortlessly through a five song set, including ‘The Dreamer’s Curse’, ‘Secrets Of A Postmodern Art Dealer’ and ‘Parachutes Are Overrated’. Vocalist Joel Pinder was on top form; his high octane performance making up for the odd missed note. The rest of the band were solid too; guitarists Will Jones and Dominic Kotlarzewski seamlessly interchanged between angular riffs and clean tones, keeping up with a powerful rhythm section made up of drummer Eliot Curtis and bassist Will Kitchener.
Bournemouth-based Macarga took to the stage next, taking heavy influence from the early sludge metal of Mastodon and mixing in elements of doom, death and djent in equal measures. After their frantic opener managed to break vocalist Eddy B’s microphone, they too provided an extremely tight performance. On tracks like ‘Expansion LTD’, Macarga sound closest to French djent band Gojira, barely coming up for air as complex rhythms roll beneath Eddy B’s screamed vocals.
The third band on the bill were the Isle of Wight progressive metallers Becoming The Leviathan. With a fearsome guitar line up, consisting of three eight string guitars and a five string bass, their sound was similar to fellow Brits Tesseract; utilising a combination of dreamy soundscapes, winding arpeggios and brutal riffs. Becoming the Leviathan showed great maturity, not only in their songwriting, but in the way they handled Tabner’s bass breakage half way through their set; managing to keep the song going via a small jam interlude, whilst the issue was fixed.
After a quick sound check, it was Circles turn to take the stage and steal the show. Immediately evident was the energy that guitarist Ted Furuhashi and bassist Drew Patton injected into their set, the latter constantly running from side to side like a yo-yo. Vocalist Perry Kakridas was incredible and as diverse as always, providing both excellent cleans (which are often compared to the unique vocals of Mike Patton) and screams. Circles played a mixture of new songs, including ‘Erased’, ‘Another Me’ and ‘Ground Shift’ from their debut album ‘Infinitas’ released on the night and old songs from their previous EPs, rounding off their set with the formidable pair of ‘Clouds Are Gathering’ and ‘The Frontline’ from ‘The Compass’ EP.
- ‘The Frontline’ from ‘The Compass’
- ‘Clouds Are Gathering’ from ‘The Compass’
- ‘Eye Embedded’ from ‘The Compass’
- ‘Ground Shift’ from ‘Infinitas’
- ‘Erased’ from ‘Infinitas’
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