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CIRCLES END |by Sven Eriksen

The debut of this band from Kristiansand was out in 1998. The EP which was released on their own label showed a band of great potential, and some references to heavier progressive rock. This summer they recorded Demo '99, which has found its way to Tarkus. Different from the last recording, this demo is recorded by the band in their rehearsal rooms. Since last year, the band has made certain changes in line-up. We contacted guitarist Omar Emanuel Johnsen to find out more.

Omar: It all started in 1994 by Trond Lunden and I as a sort of project, just for fun. In the beginning we made several line-ups, but eventually it started rolling. We found some good musicians and started listening to different kinds of progressive music. We thought it would be cool to make something more out of it, so we continued and ended up with an EP on our own label and a demo recorded this summer.

Who makes out the current line-up of Circles End?

Omar: We are Trond Lunden on guitar, Helge Finne on bass, a great drummer called Jarle A. Pettersen, a new vocalist Řyvind Kurszus and myself on guitar.

The first CD 'Circles End' was released a year and some ago. What kind of feedback have you got so far?

Omar: Very good, so far. We got a good review in Scream Magazine, and some good reviews in some Danish mags. Some record companies in England have given us good feedback, though we haven't got lucky yet... We have been played on the radio, also abroad, and we was interviewed by phone in one of the biggest radio shows for heavier music in Estonia. He had played our music several times earlier, and we think thats kind of funny. My hope is to remain an underground band, at least to begin with. Then we can build further and maybe become something bigger.

Circles End has got a new vocalist. You were the vocalist on the first album?

Omar: We have been searching for a vocalist for quite a while now, and we have finally found him - Řyvind Kurszus. On the first CD we decided that I could do the vocals, since I had been given vocal lessons at my music high-school, and we didn't have a full time singer. Now that we have one, I can fully concentrate on playing the guitar. That's better for me, since I in fact am a guitarist, and lead-guitarist of the group.

Can you say something about the contents of the debut?

Omar: On the EP, I made most of the music. We wrote one together and Trond made another song. After that Trond took over more and more as the writer, and he made most of the music on the demo, apart from one song by Řyvind Kurszus. That particular song is more straight rock, but it turned out pretty cool, I think.

You do play a heavy form of prog, but what differs you from other bands in that genre, Circles End seems to put great emphasies on feeling. Is that something you try to do with your music?

Omar: Definately! Lots of the new, modern, heavy prog which comes lacks the feeling that we try to bring out. It is a growing trend among many bands, to only focus on technique and playing fast. But we try to bring feelings into the music. Feelings is what music is, in my opinion. I think we took that one further step with the demo. It is perhaps nicer, not so modern production. We try to go back to the King Crimsonish, the dark and melancholic. I guess we have always tried to make a marriage between the 90s and the 70s progressive rock, and I think that will continue. Maybe we will even become more psychedelic?

Either way, we wish Circles End good luck, and hope they will get signed within not too long. If this sounds interesting you can get their two first CDs.