For Southampton quartet Circle Of Reason, the path that led to the creation of their new album Faith Or Theory is one that ultimately saw them start to assess their own relationships, and try to get a handle on their place in the world. Having taken a well-earned break after the release of their 2013 record These Hands And This Mind – which also saw them share stages with the likes of Feed The Rhino, Marmozets, Neck Deep, Mallory Knox, Creeper, Allusondrugs and Fearless Vampire Killers, as well as be featured on Kerrang! TV and Scuzz – the band’s 2015 became all about putting pen to paper and getting in front of crowds, starting with a slot at Takedown Festival. A small line-up change later, and the resultant tracks are short stories that convey with great emotion just how much Circle Of Reason means to its members.
Drawing upon a wide range of influences from the likes of Deftones, Funeral For A Friend, Biffy Clyro and Mastodon, Circle Of Reason trade in the kind of rock that can’t help but resonate on a personal level. Intricately arranging muscular riffs, and setting them alongside great versatility, songcraft, soaring choruses and musicianship, Circle Of Reason are a band that specialise in the heart-felt, bringing the listener with them as they play their guts out on a swathe of beautifully melancholic, metallic, and emotive rock.
Album opener Never Enough sets the pace of things to come with a theme of always feeling as though you’re not quite what someone wants. “You always said I could be so much better”, goes vocalist Simon Osman’s refrain, set as it is to the meaty riffing of guitarist Gary Slade. In turn, Questions develops the theme further, later arriving at the realisation that in the long run you are better off being yourself and doing things your own way, rather than trying to please people. In fact, there’s positivity abound on Faith Or Theory, particularly in the buoyant melody of My Emergency, and the pulverising Clarity, with its message of never judging a book by its cover. It’s about being more than what people see on the surface, and a sentiment that can be echoed by the fact that the record also reveals itself further and further on repeated listening. Elsewhere, In Other Words sees the band take their foot off the gas in order to set the record straight and move on to greener pastures, before reaching the album’s explosive resolution in the form of Colours, which reverberates long after the final bars.
For Circle Of Reason, their music is about an experience, shared. One that’s honest, no matter how hard the truth, and one that brings people together, Join them.