Officially nothing to do with Russia or its circles, the three Chicago natives behind ‘Enter’ deal in instrumental rock that fidgets and fits in the best of ways. That the six tracks here take more than fourty minutes to unwind points to the post-post-rock (where will it) end of things but there’s haste, speed and an amplified fire here that means the ‘Circles are much more than another Mogwai photocopy. These tunes go from the complex shimmy of early Tool to the gentle loveliness of Joan Of Arc to the sheer doom attack of Motorhead. Couple that with the straight up Will Haven-esque ‘Death Rides A Horse’ and you have the perfect example of instrumental music for people that don’t really like instrumental music. And a gem of a record for people that do.

Also appears at New-Noise


SILENT CIVILIAN- Rebirth Of The Temple

Johnny Santos spent six years fronting Spineshank. Though that band would never escape their ‘baby Fear Factory’ tag they did write some killer tunes. Santos jumped from the sinking nu-metal ship a couple of years ago but is now back in action with Silent Civilian and this new group are a heavier prospect all round. At the centre ‘Rebirth of the Temple’ is the sort of heavy metal that’s made Machine Head’s name. Unfortunately though, instead of concentrating on power, energy and writing defiant anthems, the ‘Civilian favour more of the fashionable metalcore flavours that have been heard already. By everyone. Everywhere.

It’s not terrible stuff. ‘Funeral’ kicks things off as neatly as anything from the last Trivium, God forbid or Caliban albums but therein lies the problem. There is nothing here that hasn’t already been done better somewhere else. The kick drums go into overdrive for the bludgeoning intro to ‘Divided’, there’s great Metallica-esque twiddly bits on ‘The Song Remains Un-Named’ and Santos’ knack for a vocal melody creeps through during ‘Bitter Pill’ and ‘Blood Red Sky’. But, there’s always that awkward feeling that the band have been reading over metalcore’s shoulder and stealing what they think are the right answers. And, at 13 tracks, some pushing seven and eight minutes long, it doesn’t half go on a bit. Hell, even Spineshank were smarter than this.

So, while there’s nothing really wrong with what Silent Civilian have done here, ‘Rebirth…’ is destined to sink without trace.