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CIRCLE

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Finland


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Circle biography
Circle are probably the most well known band of the Finnish underground music scene. Formed in 1991 in Pori, the band started as a 3 piece making aggressive music with influences from Spacemen 3, Loop and grunge bands. The members that started it all were Jussi Lehtisalo (guitars), Juha Ahtiainen (drums) and Marko Taipale (bass). With the first line-up they only managed to make one EP, "DNA/Independence" and then Marko left the band and was replaced by Mauri Päivistö. After releasing another EP, "Point", in 1993 we saw the addition of a second guitarist, Teemu Elo, and released yet another EP, "Silver". The line-up in 1993-1994 (along with keyboardist Petri Hagner and lighting technician Juha-Pekka Hietaniemi) was considered the "legendary line-up". They released their first studio albums, "Meronia" and "Zopalki" under this line-up and they even invented a language like Magma called "Meronian". The live shows with this line-up were something like "psychedelic black masses". They often played with weird outfits or no outfits at all, fluorescent body paintings, strobes, police-car emergency lights and alot of blood (either fake or real). Things were getting a bit out of hand, but luckily it all stopped after the release of their third album.

When recording "Zopalki" guitarist Jussi Lehtisalo was getting more and more interested in the Krautrock scene and in their third studio album, "Hissi", Circle pursued that musical direction. This new sound is heavily influenced by bands like Can and Neu! with its repetitive and motorik way of playing that will become Circle's trademark sound. They also added another drummer to the band, Janne Peltomäki. Some of the band members didn't particularly liked the direction the band was taking and they left to pursue their own musical adventure. Ahtiainen, Hagner and former soundman Jussi Saivo left to form Ovalki.

With a new line-up also came a new musical ideas. With Harrivaara on bass, Niemelä on keyboard and Raitio on percussions they released the less electronic follow-up to Hissi, "Franten", the sophisticated, diverse and trippier concept album, "Pori", and the more aggressive and slightly more prog oriented "Andexelt".

With the release of "Prospekt" we see the band expanding even more with the addition of Mika Rättö, Jyrki Laiho, Pika Kontkanen and Tomi Leppänen. (Most of these new members were already collaborating with the band years ago). Jussi Lehtisalo also switched the guitar for a bass and ha...
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WORKMEN'S CIRCLE: This Golden Land LP (Mono, glossy front cover) USD $20.00 Buy It Now
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Future Beats Vol 5, Mixed by Vicious Circle - (CD, 2006) USD $1.61 Buy It Now
Family Circle Weekday Soothers (CD, Aug-1996, BMG (Distributor)) USD $1.79 Buy It Now
FEENOM CIRCLE SOULED SEPARATELY (CD, 2001) USD $1.61 Buy It Now
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Full Circle [Digipak] by Creed (Post-Grunge) (CD, Oct-2009, Wind-Up) USD $7.00 Buy It Now 10m 7s
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Reggae Dancer by Inner Circle (Reggae) (CD, Aug-1994, Big Beat Records (Dance)) USD $1.00 Buy It Now 45m 44s
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CIRCLE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CIRCLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 5 ratings
Meronia
1994
3.88 | 6 ratings
Zopalki
1996
3.19 | 7 ratings
Hissi
1996
4.08 | 6 ratings
Fraten
1997
4.21 | 10 ratings
Pori
1998
4.17 | 6 ratings
Andexelt
1999
3.94 | 10 ratings
Prospekt
2000
4.00 | 7 ratings
Taantumus
2001
4.21 | 5 ratings
Alotus
2002
2.50 | 7 ratings
Sunrise
2002
4.42 | 7 ratings
Guillotine
2003
3.15 | 8 ratings
Forest
2004
4.00 | 2 ratings
Empire
2004
3.08 | 3 ratings
Golem / Vesiliirto
2004
3.23 | 7 ratings
Tulikoira
2005
3.31 | 5 ratings
Miljard
2006
3.10 | 4 ratings
Tyrant
2006
4.00 | 6 ratings
Circle Featuring Verde: Tower
2007
3.22 | 4 ratings
Panic
2007
3.07 | 8 ratings
Katapult
2007
2.39 | 9 ratings
Hollywood
2008
4.56 | 9 ratings
Rautatie
2010
4.00 | 3 ratings
Infektio
2011
3.91 | 2 ratings
Manner
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Six Day Run
2013
4.62 | 4 ratings
Leviatan
2014
4.14 | 17 ratings
Pharaoh Overlord
2015

CIRCLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Raunio
2002
5.00 | 1 ratings
General
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mountain
2005
5.00 | 1 ratings
Arkades
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sunburned Circle: The Blaze Game
2007
3.13 | 4 ratings
Telescope
2007
3.33 | 3 ratings
Rakennus
2007
5.00 | 1 ratings
Triumph
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Serpent
2012

CIRCLE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Silta
2015

CIRCLE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Kollekt
1998

CIRCLE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Earthworm
2006

CIRCLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rakennus by CIRCLE album cover Live, 2007
3.33 | 3 ratings

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Rakennus
Circle Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mortte

3 stars "Rakennus" (= a building) is another Circle live record from the past. It was recorded from Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, Charlottesville, Virginia during their US tour in 2007. In their wiki sites I read that they`ve have recorded all the gigs from that tour. So I got aswer to my wondering in last review, they haven´t (yet) released all they`ve recorded. It´s of course possible they will release more material from that tour in the future, quite recently they`ve released two albums from their european 2014 tour. This album, like many Circle live albums includes quite much improvised material.

After ambient intro from Panic-album they start to play "Uusi Uhraus" (= a new sacrifice). It´s one riff song with Mika singing nonsense. Next comes their satisfaction "Nopeuskuningas" (a speed king) (Mika has said in one interview that he can´t understand why Stones plays Satisfaction all in their gigs. Maybe Circle hasn´t play Nopeuskuningas in all their gigs, but it has stayed in their live set almost twenty years). It is played quite the same way as in studio album "Sunrise", although the end of the song has more intensity than studio version. Then comes "Tulilintu" (=firebird) from "Tulikoira"album, it´s faster but other way quite the same. "Tuhat" is quite beautiful improvisation with Jussi singing nonsense. Next "Virsi" (=hymn) starts like Finnish hymns, but soon listener might think they are making parody of it, but I think they´re totally serious. After festive beginning song goes into very strange, uptempo trip. As far as I know they´ve never made studio version from this very weird song, but it is also in other live records from the same time. "Point" is probably version from their first e.p. song, but I´m not sure because never heard that e.p. The direction goes again to fast heavy. "Murheenkryyni" (=troublemaker) is early version from "Hollywood"-album song "Suddenly" with Mika singing something else. I like it as much as that Hollywood-song. Encore song "Kaappikellon Kummitus" is just a funny piece only keyboards and vocals. It´s quite amazing how audience can clap their hands totally out of beat and Mika still can stay in beat. Also I think Mika´s enthusiastic comments in Finnish have wondered the US audience. He says for example after gig "now let´s put the beer on the machine".

This live album is not Circle at their best but not also their worst. As usual, they play very well. Album is little bit poor way recorded, probably through the microphones on the stage because you can hear also audience talking specially in the silent places. But I like the sound of the album, it´s like they´re playing in my living room. Probably this album interest more punk music fans than proglisteners.

 Serpent by CIRCLE album cover Live, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Serpent
Circle Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mortte

— First review of this album —
4 stars This live recording is one of the many live albums of Circle. It´s recorded from Croft club in Bristol. After 2000`s they`ve released almost as many live albums as studio recordings (I have wondered have they released all they have recorded). Albums have become in vinyls, cd:s and quite recently only a cassette releases. Recordings have made in a very strange circumstances: places (church, museum), in the connection of visual art shows, also one live performance is mixed in the studio and replaced live played instruments to synth effects (only cassette release "Hukkaamiskielto"). Circle has always played some of their studio material live, but mostly at least released live material is very much improvised. This album is great exception: all the songs are from studio albums, but naturally some of them has also improvisations in them.

"Lintu Joe" starts the album and is played quite the same as it was released a little later in "Manner"-album. Mika is singing something completely different as in studio version. Next "Vaellus" is also quite same kind as it is in "Rautatie"-album. But the tittle song of "Rautatie" has enlargened in fifteen minutes. After the middle uptempo period band starts to improvise something that sounds little bit southern rock. In the end improvisation changes really free jazz. After there has been silent period with a little noise and Mika´s nonsense talking, band continues the original song like they´ve never been anywhere else. Really great version! "Saturnus Reality" is much more faster than studio version in "Katapult"-album. It´s true black metal! "Lääke" reminds a studio version from "Rautatie". "Blue King" is also played really same way as in forthcoming "Manner" and the rest of the material is also from that album. "New Fantasy" is also as great as studio version, although Mika´s vocals are not as festive. The last Eno-cover "Here Comes the Warm Jets" is even better than their studio version. Unlike studio version, Mika´s singing nonsense.

This live album is highly recommended among the huge Circle live releases (they haven´t all added into progarchives discography). The recording quality is quite good. You can have quite good picture of Circle´s live magic from this record.

 Pori by CIRCLE album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.21 | 10 ratings

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Pori
Circle Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mortte

4 stars After going more to the prog and krautrock direction in two previous albums Circle made also concept album. Album name is the name of their hometown and all the songs are based on the places in the Pori or historical events of it. In this album all the members are same as previous "Fraten"-album. I think this album got much more attention and good reviews when it came as the previous ones.

It would have been possibly that many Circle fans were really suprised when hearing albums first song "Perustamisasiakirja 8.3.1558" (=town´s founding document 8.3.1558). This instrumental song is made by just acoustic instruments and it just sounds contemporary classical music with its atonality. But no, in the second "Vesitorni/kaupunginsairaala (=water tower/ town´s hospital) the direction goes back to the typical nineties electronic Circle. This 5/4 rhythm cheerful piece is with Zopalkis "Valerian" one of my favourite nineties Circle songs. In the end guitar paints really beautiful sounds. The next "Back To Pori" is also albums highlights. Straight and tight guitar starts straight after previous song and continues very intensive feeling. There are again "Meronian"-language singing. When album was released, Mika Taanila directed great video to this song. "Suurpalo" (=the great fire) is little drone piece with some noises. "Kartano"(=manor) is very mystic piece with beautiful singing, have to mention also great female voice in it. In the end of song keyboards and guitars started to play very chaotic sounds. "Promenaadikeskus" (=promenadecenter) has quite same structure as previous song, but it puts together two different rhythms succesfully. This song is maybe little bit too long when there isn´t happening much in the end of song. The next "Kruunu Päähä Pori Kuningas" is very relaxed and has a great quiet period in the middle of it where you can hear beautiful triangle sounds and birdsinging. This song is also maybe little bit too long.

"Seisomakatsomo"(=standing auditorium) is also made by only acoustic instruments and its really beautiful and mystic, one of the albums highlights. Next "Karhun Kansaa 1" (=the bear´s folk 1) is the most oppressive song in this album and reminds much "Zopalki"-album. "Porin Jazzjuhlat -65" (=the Pori Jazz Festival -65) is very funky piece with saxophone. In the end of the song there comes acoustic guitar and interesting sound effects. This year came the first vinyl version of the album and there are also added studio outtake "Yyteri" (=name of the beach near Pori where for example Rolling Stones played in the sixties). This uptempo song is really great, reminding Zopalki songs. Hard to understand why it wasn´t on album in the first place.

I think this album is with "Hissi"-album the greatest Circle nineties albums. But because I like more the 2000 period, when Mika Rättö & Janne Westerlund joined the band, I give only four stars to it although this may deserve five.

 Rautatie by CIRCLE album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.56 | 9 ratings

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Rautatie
Circle Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mortte

5 stars This is really my favourite album of Circle´s "metal"-albums. Some have called it their pop-album, but this really isn´t any Madonna or Prince -album. If you think Amon Duul II´s Vive La Trance is pop album, so is this also.

Album starts very slow and heavy in it´s title song (that means railway). Mika´s singing is also really heavy, but in the middle comes upgoing riff and also music starts to run like railway engine. In the end the slow main theme comes back. Lyrics are based on the Juhani Aho´s classic book of the same name. Next Lääke (=medicine) is the only piece sung by Janne. It´s also the lightest song in the album. Even there is not happening much, song carries well its four minutes lenght. Vaellus (=wandering) is one of the greatest Circle songs. It´s really dramatic in it´s fast tempo and Mika singing again very high. For the non-finnish speaking people I have to say like in many Mika´s songs, it´s very hard to find out what he´s singing. Next is Kohtalon Sormi (=the finger of destiny) and it continues very dramatic and deep atmosphere. The end is really sad with crying voice. Somebody might think it´s comic, but to me the whole end sounds very depressive. The next Tähet (=stars) gives a relief to the listener from the previous feelings. There are very strong guitar riff with very tight Mika´s singing. There are noisy sounds from the guitar & keyboards. Lyrics tell a story of a spaceship. This is typical "metal" piece of Circle that makes you smile. Pelkkä Meno (=mere going) is a very rhytmic piece. Mika is repeating some word that really isn´t Finnish. Lautatarha (=woodfarm) is the only true avant-garde piece in this album. Mika is singing again something incomprehensible. The mellotron sound keyboards make me think the seventies experimental pieces of King Crimson. Last Kaasukello (a gasclock) starts also very experimental way, it reminds me also ambient music of the Circle´s great "Miljard"-album. But in the end song changes very hard and heavy ending the album very great way.

Circle really showed with this album they can do catchy albums if they just want to. Even I like Circle´s experimental & spontaneity very much, I really love when they have seemed to make this album very carefully and with thought. I really hope they will make this kind of in a good way more produced album sometime in the future.

 Leviatan by CIRCLE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.62 | 4 ratings

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Leviatan
Circle Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mortte

5 stars This album is one of my favourites among the huge catalog of Circle albums. After they had made many albums much more heavy metal and also ambient styles, this album went back to acoustic and folk style of Forest-album. This was also first album after Circle borrowed it´s name to another band, so there is ex-Falcon in the end of bands name. In this album Janne Westerlund took most of the vocal duties and you can hear Mika Rättös voice only very little in the background. Both Finnish and English is used.

Album starts in very calm and mysterios feelings. Kuohu (means foam) tells a spoken strange story about three rulers named ominous, rebel and chaos. The tale is from Pertti Nieminen´s book. There are also great soundeffects from NASA`s space sounds. The next Huone (means room) is really shamanistic piece, which tells a story about outsider. Same kind of atmosphere continues in Protectorate. Both these songs repeat same riffs through the whole songs, but like in many other songs, Circle can keep the songs interest growing them a little. Post-Kapitalismus (means post-capitalism) is very calm song, including short, but beautiful guitar solo. In the lyrics you may ask, is there lots of difference in capitalism and communism. The next Rakeita (=hailstones) is also calm instrumental with great keyboard work from Mika Rättö. Hiekkaristi (=sandcross) is one of the greatest Circle-songs, again the album direction goes into very deep. Also the lyrics has a profound theme connecting human inner life and the nature. Haavat (=wounds) is a kind of bluesy song telling tale about hobo. Valley is really folk song with heavy chorus singing all the time in the back. Again Mika Rättö does great keyboard work in the end of the song, it sounds like bubbling of a spring stream. Ending Viaton (=innocent) is a calm instrumental where acoustic guitar plays a sad melody. In this song you can also hear some spoken words and breathing from Mika Rättö.

This album is like a one day. When Kuohu starts in very misty morning feelings, Viaton ends it when person already seem to be sleeping in those breathing and few calm words. Also have to mention beautiful cover is painted by Janne Westerlund. Even I like all the styles of Circle, the acoustic albums have been the most favourites of mine. There are no dead moments in this album as there are at least some in the most of the Circle albums I´ve heard.

 Manner by CIRCLE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.91 | 2 ratings

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Manner
Circle Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mortte

4 stars This album has a lot in common as the great "Rautatie"album. It´s more versatile than "Rautatie" including almost all the styles of Circle, but maybe also little more mediocre with few weaker songs. That´s the reason I gave it only four stars. Originally album was released only in vinyl in 2012 in the US, but Ektro released it as cd next year.

Like in Rautatie, "Lintu Joe" starts album very heavy way. Mika is singing in it very dramatic way as he mostly sings. Also the next song is the only song in this album sung by Janne. It´s little bit mediocre straightforward heavy piece "Blue King". Next is Circle`s softer version from Brian Eno´s "Here Come the Warm Jets". It´s double the longer, but carries well when growing begin to end. "New Fantasy" is one of the greatest Circle songs. It starts in the same ethereal atmospehere as the previos song and Mika´s singing some strange language. In the middle of the song comes chorus, that´s really beautiful and bombastic. Mika changes language to Finnish, but it´s still hard to understand because of he´s style. If all the songs in this album had been as great, this definitely would have been the greatest Circle-album! Anyway "Mustaa Kultaa" is again straighforward heavy piece with beautiful, high and two parts singing. The ending "Potero" is also one of the albums highlights. Even it´s long, its psychedelic melody carries to the end.

This album is highly recommended to someone who hasn´t heard any Circle-albums. It´s the most easylistening Circle-album, but after all really great. At the moment, when Mika Rättö´s interest seem to be more to moviemaking than musicmaking, I really hope Circle-saga isn´t over and we can enjoy a lot more Circle-albums in the future.

 Miljard by CIRCLE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.31 | 5 ratings

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Miljard
Circle Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mortte

5 stars I have to disagree all the former reviewers. Even two of them give quite positive reviews, they´re still give only three stars to this. To me this is at the moment the greatest Circle album I´ve heard. Of course I also will not recommend this to start as Circle music, because this album is very much different than almost all the other albums of them. Maybe you have to be from Finland and also from the countryside to understand the greatness of this album wholly.

To me this 2 hours are not long at all, I could have listened this even longer. Also over 20 minutes works are not too long, but I think it´s great thing there are those shorter pieces too to make this album more variable. Many albums are pieces of art also in their covers and I think this album works the best in it´s vinyl version that came last year. The black and white pictures from the small cottage near the lake in winter are just in the same mood as the music in this album. Even the clear vinyls reminds the ice in the up of the finnish lakes. I don´t know, has this album recorded in that small cottage, but anyway the whole atmosphere is like it is. And really, this album isn´t just ambient, it´s much more minimalistic avantgarde.

Parmalee starts album with the piano in very same kind of atmosphere as there is in Eno´s Music for Airports. But very soon it changes into more Circle way when guitars start to play very interesting and mystic things. In the middle of the music there comes synthesizer effect loop that lasts end of this piece. In the vinyl next is Duunila that I think should have started the whole album. Atmosphere is much darker and also really mystic. Acoustic guitar is playing a tuning sound and strange synthesizer sound is also on the back whole time. Guitars, piano and noises from the drums keep the interest during the whole piece. B.F.F is the lightest piece with jerky piano on the back and other piano, soundeffects and drums improvising on the front. Manni is the saddest piece and reminds me little rain. Salenius has lots in common to Duunila and could have easily grown as long, but I think it was great solution to leave it short.

Sophie is one of my favourites. Piano and guitar repeat the same thing whole through, but there are very interesting noises in the back. In the middle piano fades away and there comes noises that sound me like moose sounds. Mühle is the most oppressive piece, it´s great it´s short, because as a long piece it could challange ones mental health. Cornelia has a feel of a large space, maybe top of the hill. Bakkis is a drone piece of this album. And the last comes also one of my favourite, majestic Viitane. It´s also little bit oppressive, bringing into my mind somebody´s funeral. The sounds of synth effects remind me church bells. Anyway really love this dark ending, the cheerful piano in the end makes this a little bit lighter in the end.

This really isn´t easylistening album and really demands the listener whole concentration, otherwise it easily changes just background you can´t remember anything later. Music has always been really spiritual thing to me. I have listened some new age-music, but found them really boring. This and albums like Lou Reed´s Hudson River Wind Meditations work me much better.

 Golem / Vesiliirto by CIRCLE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.08 | 3 ratings

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Golem / Vesiliirto
Circle Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mortte

3 stars This Circle album includes two different entities. Golem is recorded live from club in Helsinki, Finland. Vesiliirto (=aquaplaning) is recorded in the studio. Originally released by small Finnish label as a double vinyl. Ektro record released this as cd in 2013. In cd-version there is added one song into both entieties, also Lähetys has enlargened from three minutes to over 20 minutes, name is changed Skanner / Lähetys.

Most of Golem is sound collage. When first "Salamander Sword" lasts over 18 minutes with noise and shouts and really little happenings, I can imagine that there has been at least some people that has decided to change the club in the middle of Circle´s performance. In cd comes next "Matka" (=a trip) that starts with Mika´s electric piano and vocals. The song reminds "Alta Rautatammien" from Guillotine-album, but text is totally different. Next is "Destination Thunder" which is again cacophony & shoutings. I am glad it´s quite short. Again in "True Incubus From Beyond" Mika starts to sing and play electric piano, but in the middle the song changes into sound collage. The Next "At War With Mercy" is little bit more interesting with it´s uptempo drums and shamanistic voices. It reminds finnish shamanistic rock band Sielun Veljet in it´s begin. But again the song is too long. The interesting part of this entity is encore song "Forbidden Steel Patriot". It´s quite soft Mikas telling a story about the fox in Finnish (I believe he made the story at the same moment when performing).

Studio album starts with "Korahteleva Haapa" (=wheezing aspen). It has a lots in common with the avantgarde of "Guillotine"-album (it could be recorded in the same sessions, because there is partly same engineer in these albums). Next "Tuliset Miekat Käsissä" (=fiery swords in hands) is mixing sixties psychedelia and spacerock in a very great way. In the end it changes quite free jazz. "Kavaljeeri" (=escort) is an addition in cd-version and could be named tuliset miekat käsissä part 2 because it continues quite in the same mood. "Neljä Kolkkaa" (=four corners) is also sound collage, but much more interesting than anything in Golem. Next "Haulikko ja Kivääri" (=shotgun and rifle) is also a great mix of psychedelia and spacerock. But the best comes into end: 20 minutes Skanner / Lähetys (=sending) reminds the long entities of Amon Düül 2 in their first three albums. In the end this quite jazzy piece also changes into sound collage. Hard to understand why they release in the first place only three minutes in the end of this great piece and instead release that dull live almost fully.

So this album is Circle at most experimental. I can recommend specially the Vesiliirto-part all who loves Guillotine. Golem has too less substance and too much noise. The name describes album really well, it really is a creature made just mud. When knowing Circle shows are really performances, the gig could have been a lot better when you saw them playing. I would have given Vesiliirto four stars, even five, but because I would have given Golem only two stars, so it´s three.

 Alotus by CIRCLE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.21 | 5 ratings

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Alotus
Circle Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mortte

4 stars This Circle album is produced by Hans Joachim Irmler from Faust. It was recorded already in 2001, but released 2002 after heavystyle Sunrise. I haven´t heard Prospekt or Taantumus, but because the recording time and the reviews I have read, I think this album reminds much more those two than Sunrise. This album has released only in germany and are not available as new at the moment (really hope they will release this as vinyl someday). Mika Rättö wasn´t a full member in this album, he joined to record it as a quest.

This album includes four little over ten minutes songs and one short song. The beginning song "Työläisten Laulu" (=Workingmen´s song) is krautrock as the most depressive. It repeats one chord and other guitars play gloomy melodies into it. The moment you are starting to get bored of this song Mika starts to sing very howling way and song lasts interesting in the end. The next "Alotus" (= a start) is the highlight of this album. Right when it starts you can easily imagine it to be some great Can of Amon Düül 2 song if you don´t know the performer. It starts very powerful, but changes soon softer and guitars starts to create interesting soundscapes. In the end Mika sings shamanistic voices and the song become back to powerful. There is really great drum working in this piece! "Northern Sky" is a short beautiful guitar sound piece. "Lopetus" (= a stop) is a very dark and quiet song. Mika is singing something in Finnish. There are rage under the song, but the drums stay calm the whole time, only in the end there comes bizarre and aggressive guitars, also the whole song changes really haunting. The last "Potto" (no idea what this means) is really boring, the album would have been better without it. There are only one chord and Mika singing something with very delayd vocals and in the end song changes to boring heavy rock (maybe this song foreshadowed the future style of Circle).

Like the other Circle albums of that time I think this album is not for the proglisteners that don´t like music based only in sounds and changes in atmosphere. But I think this is quite essential album for the krautrock fans. Also if you have become familiar with Circle´s Leviatan, Rautatie and Miljard, then I will recommend this album next. If there hadn´t been that boring final song, I would have given this album five stars.

 Meronia by CIRCLE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.00 | 5 ratings

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Meronia
Circle Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mortte

3 stars I saw two early gigs of Circle in the early nineties. In the first one they had police car emergency lights circling round and strobo lights. The second one there was naked man standing sideways, in the middle of gig he sat down. Both gigs were really great shows, but music was really chaotic & noisy and I believed I would not like their e.p:s that had just come out. Then in my one friends place she put this album on, but soon decided to change some more cheerful album. I heard little bit of "Colere" and my interest woke, because it was absolutely opposite of the music in those gigs. Then few years later I saw videos of their "Valerian" and "Back To Pori" in the Oulu town video festival and thought I really must listen them more. But many years passed and lots of interesting music came to my way and I became Circle-fan just a few years ago.

If "Meronia" is a planet as "Kobaia" is in Magma´s world, it´s very gloomy place. The whole Meronia album is just very dark and cold, the Meronian-language singing with it´s very faraway and cold sounding also took everything away from all the warm. My favourites in this album are the title-song, already mentioned "Colere", "Staalo" and the final "Espirites". These all and also some other songs reminds me the early albums of the Cure. In Meronia Circle is closest to the indie-rock scene of that time, although there are already recognized Circle musical styles. Their "krautrock" based theme repetation is already in their first album, but cause their musical ideas are poorer, the one gets easily little bit bored listening the whole album through. Also you easily hear they weren´t then as skillful players as they were later.

So Meronia is like many bands first albums little bit adolescent. I haven´t heard their first e.p:s, but I believe mostly Meronia is musically in the same direction, on the other hand you can hear there seeds what is coming. Anyway album deserves three stars just it´s very sympathetic young men energy.

Thanks to chamberry for the artist addition.

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