In Circles is the first full length album recorded by doom/post-metal merchants This Sun No More. Inspiration for the album comes from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, in particular Inferno, Dante’s morbid quest through the nine concentric circles of hell. Mapping this toil through hell are the nine tracks here that make up In Circles, each song a motif of the cardinal sin that defines each ring.
The album is a powerfully atmospheric piece of work, a gloomy trudge of a journey, with the slow thudding drums masterfully mirroring the image of Dante’s laboured journey, an effect that is further encapsulated by the patient progression of the tracks . The band build uneasy moments of tension by blending eerily beautiful psychedelic melody and crunching doom laden riffs. The sparse use of vocals come into best effect late on in the tracks, with hardcore-like growls and barks that sound almost overwhelmed by the malevolent atmosphere, (‘Storm’,’Iscariot’) recalling the cries of the forlorn souls Dante encounters in each circle. Select quotes are used to further emphasise the themes of particular tracks, for example ‘River’ the track centred around Wrath which features a chilling news broadcast announcing the bombing of Nagasaki to emotive effect.
In Circles is an impressive and deeply thematic album that’s hard not to listen to in relation to its medieval literature counterpart. The strong resemblance in theme and structure adds to its mystique and serves as a contemporary journey through the repulsive side of human nature. In Circles is an embroiling listen that works perfectly on its own but is especially powerful for the listener who is familiar with the influence behind it.
In Circles is released 7th June via Sludgelord Records and can be purchased here
Words: Omur Sowar