Jointstereo – Circles EP

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label: Another Side Records (part of Metal Scrap Records)
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Released: 2015
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PicBand line-up: 

Arthur Shakhbazian – vocals, lyrics, music, programming
Yuri Khartiunov – guitars, music, back vocals, programming


1. Circles, Pt. 1
2. Ouroboros
3. Fractal Universe
4. Circles, Pt. 2


‘Circles EP’ is basically what is left of ‘Break the Circles’, the planned second album by Russian band Jointstereo. The band formed in Krasnodar, Russia in 2008, releasing their single ‘Lineout’ n 2011 which brought them to the attention of Swedish producer Jonas Kjellgren who offered to mix & master their debut album ‘Refract The Fears’, the album came out in 2012. However creative & managerial disagreements led to Arthur leaving the band for a while, on his return work began on ‘Break the Circles’ but further disagreements left the band as a duo in the studio, they finished the songs that had so far been recorded and thus it has become ‘Circles EP’.

Described as depressive rock, this is dark & dramatic doom-metal, but Jointstereo are not afraid to break the boundaries and experiment a little, sung in English with sumptuous harmonies.  ‘Circles, Pt. 1’ opens the EP with lush tones and subtle guitars. Far heavier and more brutal, comes ‘Ouroboros’ with its hymn like qualities, progressive and beautiful guitars and a sense of foreboding. ‘Fractual Universe’ commences with delicate guitar work, it passes through different elements of the song, each segment different from the last, each getting heavier and darker. Lastly, ‘Circles, Pt. 2’ brings the EP full circle to the start, screaming its agony and leaving you with a regret that we may never hear the other tracks that were meant for the full album.

The whole EP seems understated, cultured, contemporary, its not bound by stereo-types and doesn’t fit into a neat little box, but instead is wonderfully free and creative. The screamed lyrics can still be understood and contrast with the gentler vocals, making this accessible to all who enjoy their music on the darker side.

Review by Lisa Nash