When Circle Takes the Square released Rites of Initiation last year, there was a feeling that the band from Savanna, Georgia was back. Fans had to wait too long for a successor of the 2004 masterpiece As the Roots Undo, but seven years later, they got rewarded for their patience with a well-crafted and super solid EP that promised a slightly adjusted sound for the future, specifically for their next full length Decompositions Vol. I. With sludgy guitars, tighter songwriting and an overall heavier feel, CTTS exposed a more (post) metal-tinged penchant this time, displaying a refined and darker sound facet that aimed for a wider exploration of the band’s sonic range. It was just an appetizer though, as the record lacked the magnificent epic feel of the band’s previous output, so music fans and critics alike were in gleeful anticipation of the new longplayer already entitled and announced.
So here we are in late 2012, having heard nothing of the band since summer 2011 and the original hype being as dried out as the tears of joy I had in my eyes over a year before, when Friday the 23rd of November brought a nice little surprise to my ears. The new song is called “Arrowhead as Epilogue” and it’s the first song released from the upcoming Decompositions Vol. I. Soundwise, it picks up where Rites of Initiation left off and goes for a more straightforward approach, with streamlined riffs, strained vocal work and a dense, claustrophobic feel to it. It’s definitely working out as a kinda cool new song, but damn, these dudes and dudette used to write songs that were fun, eccentric, over the top, epic, unsettling, passionate and ultimately rewarding when you really got into it, whereas this new one is sort of, yeah I’ll say it, boring in comparison – like filler material boring. Maybe the song will flourish in full album context, but for now, as a first glimpse at the new CTTS, it’s utterly disappointing and not the kind of musical statement I expected from a band that simply has to deliver.
Whensoever, let’s hope they still do.