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Circenses – Tightrope Walk on the Ground

Tightrope Walk on the Ground
by Erik Akos at 10 June 2018, 3:46 AM

CIRCENSES is a one-man project of Finnish musician Severi Osala, who is signed to Inverse Records and just released his debut under this name with the label. Opener is a short intro track, perfect for what it’s supposed to do and even as a standalone song, it’s pretty great, especially that little piano lick, love that. The pianos on this record are easily my favourite thing here, especially the way they’re placed. Few of them, but not too few. The track’s best part is when it speeds up a little in the last seconds and then just ends.

"Kill The Words” began just the way I thought it would. After the quiet, moody intro track, we cut right into the m e t a l. But it’s not as bad as most bands do it. In fact, it’s a solid song with again, amazing little piano parts and a strong balance of melody and heaviness. Even the vocals of Severi are very powerful and effective, and that’s coming from me, who despises 99% of Death Metal vocals. Track three’s snare and drum mix in general are really weird in the worst possible way, but it at least keeps the strong melodic side, which doesn’t seem as significant this time unfortunately.

The title track offers a changed up rhythmic style with a greater emphasis on time-dynamics and getting rid of that weird drum sound that almost ruined "Lunacy” All that "From Darkness To Joy” did different was have a semi-interesting outro with acoustics and clean vocals, which was okay, I guess, didn’t care for it that much, but that was the last time he kept the "keep the general formula and change up each song a little” attitude. After that, it’s mostly the same songs. "Sleep My Demon” is boring as hell, "Disordered” has the best riff of the record in its intro and is a tad bit heavier than most, while the last two, "My Mask” and "Swallow Your Pride” lean more towards conventional Melodeath. However, neither of these songs feel like they had as much effort put into them as the first 4 or 5.

I dug about 20% of this record, kind of liked 35% of it, and the remaining 45% were listenable, but nothing more than that.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. High Center of Gravity
2. Kill the Words
3. Lunacy
4. Tightrope Walk on the Ground
5. From Darkness to Joy
6. Sleep My Demon
7. Disordered
8. My Mask
9. Swallow Your Pride
Severi Osala – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drums
Record Label: Inverse Records


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Edited 03 December 2022

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