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Circle Takes the Square - Decompositions: Volume Number One

Savannah-based Circle Takes the Square impressed the heck out of me when I saw them opening up for Kylesa early last year on their European tour.
Now, the band returns with their first full-length album in eight years, following an EP entitled ‘Decompositions: Volume Number One, Chapter I: Rites of Initiation’ released in 2011, and just like their previous full-length 'As the Roots Undo', this new effort features an eclectic bag of sounds and moods, veering from an intense and raucous combination of noise, hardcore and grind to lulling ambiences and folky tunes. 'Decompositions: Volume Number One' will take you to a number of places, equally evocative and off-putting, challenging and intriguing, and although it’s not without its faults it’s a good, solid effort from a band that sounds like no one else. That obviously means something! (7.2/10)

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Age of Woe - Inhumanform

Armed with a crushing style of death-influenced hardcore, similar to Entombed and to a lesser extent Converge coupled with the monolithic sludge of Neurosis, Age of Woe’s “Inhumanform” is a surprising release that shows a lot of promise for a band that formed only three years ago. The band wastes no time on subtitles and kick things off with the incredible “Like Embers”, which boasts some heavy and crunchy monolithic riffs braced by bulky, powerful drums, while some grabbing guitar melodies play throughout the quiet moments. In tracks such as “The King of Thieves” they pound out a two-step hardcore with a consistent fury sounding a bit like their infamous comrades Disfear. Good stuff! (7.5/10)

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Okus - Okus

Okus? Sounds like the name of an orc from Lords of The Rings doesn’t it? Well, it’s not! It’s actually the name of a grind/crust combo from Ireland, but sonically they’re just as vile and fearful as those vicious creatures from JR Tolkien novels.
Okus combine elements of grind, punk, crust and doom to offer up a raw, powerful and sometimes intimidating sound that assaults our senses in a Entombed-meets-Napalm Death way. With 7 tracks running through nearly 32 minutes, “Okus” is lean and vicious and sees the four-piece excelling at layering different sounds and rhythms, switching easily between relentless, powerful blast beats to sludgy, caustic grooves. Nasty stuff! (7.8/10)

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