REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Let's Celebrate Circa Survive's "Descencus"

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Circa Survive's latest creation, 'Descensus', is the fifth addition to their discography, but the very first album released on Sumerian after the move from Atlantic in 2014.


The ten track album has had to compete with the likes of ‘Blue Sky Noise’, which debuted at #11 on the Billboard Top 200, as well as their debut album ‘Juturna’, which contains fan-favourites, like “In Fear and Faith” and “Act Appalled”. So how’d ‘Descensus’ do? Let’s take a look, shall we?

"Schema", the first track on the album is a tasty helping of singer, Anthony Green's incredible capabilities over choppy guitar work and fully fledged drums. The song kicks off with guitar feedback over pulsing drumming before Green's throaty voice grips you and doesn't let go. The tempo changes frequently throughout the song, almost making it disconnected pieces, but this seems to be a reoccurring theme on the album and it still puzzles together wonderfully!

"Always Begin" is easy on the ears. There’s not too much going on instrumentally, but what is happening in the song, is completely on point. The quite grungy drum riff, the perfectly pitched wail of the guitar and of course vocals - varying easily between the soulful and raspier edges.

"Nesting Dolls", is a seven minute float in the clouds. The song is completely stripped back and Anthony’s singing is so angelic that you can't help but feel transported to a world where nothing but the melody matters. What adds more to the experience, is that the last 3 minutes of the song is almost solely instrumental, except for a few ghostly whispers from Green.

"Quiet Down" reminds me a little bit of a western movie - the galloping drums and occasional strum of the guitar and I don’t mean it to be a bad thing. If anything, it’s really effective and Anthony’s performance is raw and powerful. Title track, "Descensus", opens with a mellow riff - perhaps the result of a bottleneck effect - which creates the perfect atmosphere for the final song. It’s the kind of thing that leaves you with your eyes closed, completely invested. What follows from that point, is a nine minute blend of singable choruses, chugging guitars and display of what Circa Survive is capable of. Now, I do realise that I focused on the singing a lot, but only because Anthony Green has such a natural talent to impress - why not celebrate it? Overall, ‘Descensus’ is a lovely addition to Circa Survive’s already impressive catalogue and the album may win back a lot of fans that may have dwindled since ‘Juturna’, as it does feel like the band has looked to those very first tracks for influence. Words by Renette van der Merwe To find out more about Circa Survive
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