Skip to main content

Rock Review: Circle-Reissues

Release Date: January 24, 2014
Label: Ektro Records

If you were to search through all the bands going today then it would probably be hard to find one quite as prolific as Finnish rockers, Circle. Since their 1994 debut album, they’ve released over twenty-five records; that’s not including the dozens of live albums and EP’s that they’ve also put out. 

Their latest release is a collection of three albums. It brings together a reissue of 2008’s Hollywood, their last studio album Incarnation and brand new live album Sseennsseess.

While listening to the different releases included in this pack, it quickly becomes clear that Circle are a band that aren’t afraid to mix things up. You could take tracks from the different records here, put them side by side and not realize they’re by the same band.

Just because their songs can sound so radically different from one another, it doesn’t mean that everything is disjointed; there are definitely things that bring all the material together. “Connection” the opener to Hollywood, gives a first taste of the fast and frenetic drumming that is a key part to the Circle sound.  The frantic beats make it hard to not get drawn in by the music. They’re so pounding and in your face that they’re virtually impossible to ignore. 

Off the three records in the pack, I think it’s fair to say that Hollywood is the lightest and so works as a good introduction to Circle. Incarnation is a far moodier and more aggressive record. The growling, vicious vocals on “Infamy” are a million miles away from anything on Hollywood. 

The newest record here, Sseennsseess, sees the band take another turn. They go from the dark and twisted sound on Incarnation to long, sprawling, largely instrumental tracks; the highlight of which is undoubtedly the phenomenal “Sleepwalker.” 

Having listened to Hollywood, Incarnation and Sseennsseess, it’s hard to really pick a favorite from the three – they’re just too different to be compared with each other. But, what it has done is make me want to check out more from Circle’s vast back catalogue. Whatever you’re in to, it’s definitely worth giving Circle a chance because they’re bound to have something that you like.

5/5 Stars

Key Track: Sleepwalker

James Hinton

January 19, 2014


01.    Connection
02.    Mercy and Tuesday
03.    Earthworm
04.    Sacrifice
05.    Spam Folder
06.    Taking Back
07.    Coda
08.    Hard To Realize
09.    Mad Man
10.    Suddenly

1.    Incarnation
2.    Infamy
3.    Transcending
4.    Bloodstreams
5.    Burden


1.    Kudos
2.    Radiant
3.    Sleepwalker

4.    Terminal


Popular posts from this blog

Rock Review: Aunt Mary-New Dawn

Release Date: 12th February 2016 Label: Wind-Up Website
Aunt Mary, as a name, somehow suggests an “older” band and it came as no real surprise to find that they are a Norwegian prog band from the 70’s. The band were considered by many to be one of the best prog bands in Norway with their brand of music a mixture of heavy hard rock tunes plus clear indications of a more symphonic nature, although that only really showed itself on their 3rd, and last, studio album, Janus, in 1973. Last that is, until now, with the release of New Dawn. This would appear to be an apt title for a release which follows 24 years after an album of blues covers, released in 1992. 

At their height, Aunt Mary were “up there” with the likes of Deep Purple, Ten Years After, King Crimson, Jethro Tull and many more. After the release of Janus in 1973, the band split up but did a few sporadic appearances, as well as releasing the blues covers album mentioned earlier.

3 years ago, the Norwegian guitar legend and producer, …

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

Jazz Fusion-Rock-Pop-Funk Review: Project Grand Slam-Trippin’

Release Date: June 29, 2018 Label: Cakewalk Records Website
This will be my sixth voyage into the world of Project Grand Slam (PGS). So, what is this experience going to be like this time? I would expect the same great combination of jazz, rock, funk, and pop that I always enjoyed.

Just so you all know PGS is: Robert Miller (bass), Mario Castro (saxophones), Bayden Goyo (keyboards), Joel E. Mateo (drums), Guillermo Barron Rios (percussion), Tristan Clark (guitar) and the beautiful Ms. Ziarra Washington (vocals).

So, now we are Trippin’ into 2018 with PGS. And the first track titled “1972” was like turning on the radio and hearing the Average White Band or Tower of Power. Yes sir, on the AM dial, it came blaring through back in those days. 

The title track is a real gas too. This number has some great sax from Castro and a killer rhythm section courtesy of Miller and Mateo. It shines the spotlight on them clear and bright. Let me tell you, those two are like the dynamic duo, kind of like a p…