"Descensus" (Sumerian Records; 2014)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is the fifth album from Circa Survive, and I'm just now finding out about them. Sorry about that. These guys have a lot of flavors in their sound: alternative rock, indie rock, post-hardcore and progressive rock. "Descensus" has a cool sound and since they have a lot of styles to pull from they do this disc justice and pull a little from each one, on every track and every track.

The CD contains all the lyrics to their songs. It's all clean singing so it's pretty easy to understand the words and, when they start twisting the vocals to give it that weird vibe, you'll lean in close to hear what they are doing. The guitar has an odd sound because it can move in between so many different styles but it's not all crazy and, unlike thrown darts at a dartboard, it does stay pretty consistent. The indie rock sound is present when the tracks are slowed down but the post-hardcore sound in prevalent more often than any other. The alternative rock genre comes in on the harder tracks with a tough intro and when that gets extended you'll hear the progressive sound emerge.

The opening track "Schema" got a lot of play because of the video. If you haven't seen it then you're in a for a treat. Head on over now to YouTube, I'm done waxing this review.

For more information, check out

"Violent Wave" (Sumerian Records; 2012)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Circa Survive are an alternative, Indie rock and progressive outfit from Philadelphia, PA. This is their fourth disc. Their first three were with major labels but this disc is different in that they released it themselves because they wanted to capture a "live" sound. The band consists of vocalist Anthony Green (the former singer of Saosin) and members of the now-defunct band, This Day Forward.

Their "live" sound does come through on plenty of the songs. You can tell that they put lots of layers into each song -- it isn't just four or more instruments in harmony, itís a drum beat that lays down the foundation or root and then the vocals will come in and out of a song. The guitar is most prevalent on the rockers but when it's slowed down it still has plenty of soul. The solos bend between a rock and progressive sound. They, too, have a live sound to them and since that's what they were aiming for, I'd say they hit the target.

This disc was my first foray into Circa Survive and I really liked their sound. Toward the end of the disc their sounds slows down and becomes more ambient but its still got a great feel. The female vocals really make the band and the vocals here transcend the songs and you'll almost feel like she's singing in a live setting.

Download these tracks: "Birth of the Economic Hit Man," "Sharp Practice," and "The Lottery."

For more information visit their official website at this link

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:12 -0500.