American progressive rockers Circa Survive have returned with their highly anticipated fifth album Descensus; this also marks the third label the group have been with since releasing their debut album Juturna back in 2005, they recently signed to Sumerian Records. These guys are one of the most respect live rock acts that America has to offer, and they have their colossal fan base to show for it; their sound is somewhat unique and to be desired, and after a mere two year gap between releasing Violent Waves it’s time for some new stuff.
Lead single Schema introduces the album with the heavier sound that we were prepared to hear, vocalist Anthony Green mentioned that Descensus will be a much more aggressive record than any Circa Survive LP before; the verses are controlled somewhat, but that’s what makes the lead up to the chorus all the more exciting when the guitars are let rip and Green’s soaring vocal heightens to a roar. Child of the Desert follows closely to the same progressive route, still without disappointment; third track Always Begin flows wonderfully, the clean vocals mixed with the hardcore vocals get to work once again. After the very brief interlude, the constant beat resonating from second single Only The Sun keeps you enticed, whereas Nesting Dolls is refreshingly mellow and gives you a little break from the overall intensity of the album.
Ironically, Quiet Down does everything but, there’s something addictive about the beat and the guitars in this number and the vocals are on par; again the album tones down a little,this time with Phantom, it’s interesting how Descensus has taken us high and low on this rollercoaster ride. Sovereign Circles is different again, the guitars are still hard at work but create an uplifting atmosphere throughout the verses before the huge uproar of a chorus; the final hurrah is the nine minute instalment, title track Descensus, boy it goes for a long time but you still find yourself listening to it in its entirety, it’s almost like Circa Survive really didn’t want to let this album go.
Circa Survive have consistently hit gold with each release, Descensus is no exception to their rule of thumb, which is to conceive and deliver a decent progressive rock album. There were times however when melodies didn’t seem to differentiate from each other, particularly in the heavier songs, but that doesn’t stop them from staying true to the Circa sound. Descensus leaves you wanting more, especially because it’s a short and snappy nine song/one interlude album, but also because it was well produced and a great listen.