Circle - Zopalki [Ektro Records - 2012]‘Zopalki’ is the second album from locked rock groove, genre mixing and highly prolific Finish project Circle. The album originally appeared back in 1996 on the Bad Vugum, and this new reissue presents it to the masses for the first time in many years. And I must say this is another great, great Circle release- up there with some of their best work…so this really is a very welcome reissue.
The album was originally released as a double Lp, with the albums twelve tracks & over 72 minutes taking up four sides of vinyl. This new reissue comes in the form of a CD, which features a new louder, more punchy & detailed remastering of the album. Plus this new reissue has as new linear notes by Ex band member Teemu Elo, and band pictures from around the time of the album’s originally release. Apparently there is due to be a reissue of the album also in it’s original vinyl form, and this double LP is set to be released fairly soon on by Full Contact and Svart Record.
Anyway enough history & reissue banter, lets get down to the sonic goods on display here. The twelve tracks on offer here lace together a very hypnotic, atmospheric, and at times darkly off-kilter mixture of locked groove guitars ‘n’ bass, hard hitting drums, and moody synth textures, with a few tracks offering up splattering of vocals, but mainly this is a more instrumental Circle album. Pretty much all of the twelve tracks here are great , but to give you idea of what to expect a few of my favourite moments come in the form of: the opener ‘Brilliant Colours for Bright Ideas’ which mixes together a moody ‘n’ dark mix of bass heavy & locked prog rock with brooding & creepy snyth sweeps that have quite a sinister almost blacked metal keyboard feel to them. ‘Re-masturbated’ with it’s dub bound bass lines & drums that are weaved with noisy guitar ‘n’ synth textures- later on the track also feature great locked guitar mantras & early Type O Negative monk like vocals.
Or there's The bobbing ‘n’ throbbing bright snyth textures & marching drum beat of “Ghatarian”, which later has added to it warbling almost 80’s new romantic like vocals. Pretty much were ever you set down on the record your sure of entrancing yet creative tracks that manage to mix the bands locked groove style with all manner of seemingly effortless mixed genre traits.
With out doubt this is one of the highlights of Circle huge, and seeminly ever growing catalaogue. So if you dig locked groove guitar based music, that's creative, layered with different genre traits, atmospheric, damn memorable & hypnotic ‘Zopalki’ is most certainly for you!.Roger Batty