By all accounts, Circa Survive shouldn’t be here. The band’s frontman, Anthony Green, sometimes can’t even believe that the band has survived all the demons and turmoil over the course of their career. But Green and his bandmates have continually persevered through it all, alive and thriving with their sixth full-length album (and Hopeless Records debut) The Amulet, the band’s darkest and most personal piece of art yet.
The hazy opener, “Lustration,” begins with Green’s familiar croon before erupting into an unshakeable groove provided by drummer Steve Clifford. It’s a warning of sorts (“Beneath your finger nails/they’ll find small pieces of stone/you’ll face the sun/cut with the pressure point”) mixed in with Green’s desperate pleas (“I don’t want to be the anchor on your chest“ and “I don’t want to see the moment you forget”). Elsewhere, the album’s ominous vibe penetrates on tracks like “Premonition Of The Hex” and “At Night It Gets Worse,” with the latter being a career highlight. Its glacial pace slowly picks up as the implied dread increases, leaving the listener feeling uneasy. We also get some of Will Yip’s best production work ever – the thrilling guitar riff that kicks off “Stay” is incredibly crisp and Nick Beard’s bass work across the record (especially on the Juturna-esque “Tunnel Vision” ) is thoroughly killer, providing the backbone to the vast majority of The Amulet. Colin Frangicetto and Brendan Ekstrom’s dueling guitar acrobatics are a pleasure as well – “Never Tell A Soul” never lets up the pace as Green tears through the chorus.
Orange County’s all-ages venue, Chain Reaction, has announced Chain Fest. The festival will take place on Saturday, September 17th at the Observatory Grounds in Santa Ana, California. Coheed and Cambria, Underoath, and Circa Survive will be headlining along with Portugal. The Man, MXPX, Title Fight, Anthony Green, Basement, Citizen, Dance Gavin Dance, Elder Brother, Hail The Sun, Mat Kerekes, Movements, Nomads, Onelinedrawing, Secret Space, Tigers Jaw, Turnover, Up Syndrome, and Zao.
VIP tickets are on sale now. General admission goes on sale on Friday.
For this week’s “Throwback Thursday,” I bring images captured of Circa Survive just a few years ago at the Ogden Theater in Denver, CO. I am probably one of the more atypical Anthony Green fans. I had never seen Circa perform live, and had never even listened to more than 15 seconds of their music before this night. And yet, Saosin’s Translating the Name was probably the most influential release for me in the early 2000’s. I know, I’m weird. However, getting to finally see Anthony perform was an experience. Anthony’s energy on stage is contagious. The moment he walks on stage you can just feel the aura he commands. I hope you enjoy this week’s gallery of some of my favorite images from that night.