Clear blue skies for Circa Survive

1426684-3600869406_sm_1400790827_sm_14007908271
The Spectrum

Grade: B

The Circa Survive you once knew is gone. The band's major label debut proves to be more intricate and, for lack of a better word, mature than previous efforts.

Since releasing Juturna nearly five years ago, Circa's popularity has grown exponentially. They've gone from being simply known as Anthony Green's post-Saosin project to one of the most well-known and circulated names in the scene.

In its latest release, Blue Sky Noise, Circa has definitely embraced the rock aspect of progressive rock. The experimental nature of their music has been toned down just a bit and heavier guitar riffs have stepped in to even things out without losing what makes Circa Survive who they are.

On Juturna and On Letting Go, the instruments always played second fiddle to the vocals. This isn't to say that they weren't meticulously crafted or were somehow lacking in comparison with the lyrics, but the vocals always seemed to come off as a bit more prominent in the overall sound on previous efforts.

With Blue Sky Noise, however, each instrument gets to see a bit of the limelight as each aspect of the album is shown off with pride. When they all come together on the same level, they manage to produce an incredibly unique and awe-inspiring sound.

But the instrumentals alone are not the only noticeable difference on Blue Sky Noise. For longstanding fans of Circa Survive, the deeper vocals of famed front man Anthony Green are as different as night and day.

There's never been any doubt that Green's vocal skills are impressive. He is, after all, one of the most highly recognized lead singers in the music scene today. However, it might be hard for Circa fans to contest that on previous albums, Green did often come off sounding a bit like the opposite sex.

This confusion has become a thing of the past. Green's vocal range on Blue Sky Noise is remarkable. Green manages to hit deeper notes that most wouldn't have originally believed possible, while still being able to hearken back to earlier works.

In the end, Blue Sky Noise is a big step forward. Whether or not all of its fans will be able to adapt to the new changes remains to be seen. But one thing is certain – the new Circa Survive has arrived.

E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com