Metal Hammer (UK) - - Fresh Meat - | SOUTH­ERN LORD | TOBY COOK

Ex­plain­ing Fin­nish col­lec­tive Cir­cle to the unini­ti­ated can be a bit like try­ing to ex­plain cricket to some­one who doesn’t know what a cu­cum­ber sand­wich is. The first of their 51 al­bums, 1994’s thor­oughly krautrock

Mero­nia, was sung en­tirely in a made-up lan­guage. Then there was the time they changed their name to Fal­con (Ex-Cir­cle) to re­lease a record of AOR-ish krautrock bangers, whilst also re­leas­ing a death me­tal al­bum, In­car­na­tion, un­der the name Cir­cle with an en­tirely dif­fer­ent line-up. They then, of course, changed their name to Cir­cle (Ex-Fal­con) for one record. And did we men­tion their last LP, 2015’s Pharaoh Over­lord? Ti­tled af­ter one of their many side­pro­jects, it was re­leased si­mul­ta­ne­ously with the

Pharaoh Over­lord al­bum ti­tled Cir­cle. Oh, and they ba­si­cally in­vented the New Wave Of Fin­nish Heavy Me­tal, which is ex­actly what you think it is, ex­cept more day-glo than you can pos­si­bly imag­ine. The group’s live show, how­ever – a wild, six-headed Rocky Hor­ror Showin-polo-shirts ex­plo­sion of psy­che­delic threat and glo­ri­ously camp theatrics – has re­mained rel­a­tively sta­ble; es­chew­ing what­ever genre they may have last ven­tured into, they revel in a glo­ri­ous sonic mael­strom some­thing like Judas Priest meets Queen meets Can. Per­haps the most sur­pris­ing thing about Ter­mi­nal, is that it’s this side of the band that’s fi­nally been com­mit­ted to record. Not that there’s any­thing straight­for­ward here, though. Opener Rakkautta Al

Dente is a 13-minute ex­cur­sion through fuzzy, cycli­cal krautrock riffs, bliss­ful, im­pro­vised me­an­ders and wail­ing heavy rock – like eight of your favourite records be­ing played one af­ter the other, with no dis­cernible gaps. It’s a tech­nique the Finns ap­ply lib­er­ally through­out, us­ing ul­tra-rep­e­ti­tion as a med­i­ta­tive hum to stitch all ends of their heavy cos­mic blan­ket to­gether. The ti­tle track in­dulges in some pure Stooges love, if the Stooges were fronted by Michael Rother, while Saxo’s monas­tic chant­ing evolves into bark­ing trad me­tal be­fore emerg­ing into soar­ing, epic alt-pop with near-op­er­atic vo­cals. If any of that makes any sense you’ll adore Ter­mi­nal.

Fin­nish space me­tal col­lec­tive flood the senses

If you can get your head around Cir­cle then you’re clearly do­ing it wrong

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