In their quest to melancholize everybody’s lives and institutionalize sorrow as a beauteous condition, these Finnish metal legends have produced yet another record that is the perfect companion to a night of stargazing. As their eleventh studio album, Circle is an apt sonic reflection of the pensiveness that accompanies old age.
Angst and gloom take turns to induce emotional roller-coaster rides (“Shades Of Gray”, “Hopeless Days” and “Enchanted By The Moon”) while the keyboard plays the role of a calm voice amidst electric guitar maelstroms (“Mission”, “The Wanderer” and “Into The Abyss”). Once again, Tomi Joutsen’s signature mix of powerful, guttural growling and deep, emotive clean singing does a splendid job of nailing catchy choruses. Folkish woodwind tunes (“Narrowpath”, “Nightbird’s Song” and “A New Day”) and a brief saxophone motif (towards the end of “A New Day”) give the music a soothing touch too.
Alas, as beautiful as Circle is, it is one of those listenable records that you would spin to sleep to rather than energetically nod to. No new ground is trodden upon, but the starry sky above is reached once again. (Dane Prokofiev)
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