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PROG-RÉSISTE |by Alain Quaniers

Translated by Marie-F Schmidt-Melbye.

Among these musical productions there are those who attract your attention because of their richness and complexity, or, in contrast, because they are empty and weak. This explains why our enthusiasm ranges from 0 to 5 on the charts. However there is in my opinion a type of album which is both precious and relatively rare: in which the atmosphere is instantly captivating --- That is the case of the current release of Circles End, made up of young but talented Swedes. Strait off, I will set the facts strait: they are Nordic, but they have nothing to do with the string of new arrivals from the land of fjords. The only crucial point of comparison is the brilliant manner in which ambiances, climates, are put in place. And on this point there is no doubt in my mind, the resemblance with Landberk is a fact.

In terms of music, it is radically different, an innovation even. This band has its own style: Circles End do Circles End, end of story. One singer, two playing the guitar as well as the e-bow (an electronic thingy employed as a violin, and capable of producing sounds similar to that of brass wind instruments and a keyboard. Big Country made good use of it on their first album), one bassist and one drummer, along with two guests on synthesizer and violin. Their programme may be summed as alternations between slow and melancholic passages and lively outbursts, led by the guitars. And then, Karl Jacobsen introduces his beautiful voice, rich and deep. In a very intelligent manner the band has refrained from pushing the faders to the limit in order to restore the guitars and thus avoiding the predictable classic prog-metal, by far. In addition, their cords combinations show great finesse though they seem simple enough. Indeed these young musicians seem to be born knowing how to put the pieces together in order to maintain the attention, breaks which create enthusiasm, undeniable talent which is as convincing as with the Poetcia Il Silencio. So, dear friends of progress, follow my advice: do not bother with labels, and give this original band where a moderated and refined Pain of Salvations meets Landberk of Lonely Land, a try. For my part it is currently this album that keeps playing. It called a crush...