Circle Takes the Square – Decompositions – Vol I. Chapter 1. Rites of Initiation

Well it sure as hell took these guys long enough. Four years after As The Roots Undo, they started a blog hinting at a future release. Then we were treated to a roughly one blog post per year over the next three years. And I may or may not have been checking their blog obsessively over this entire period. Shut up.

The EP starts with Enter By the Narrow Gates, or as I call it the “Oh ha ha oh ha” song. Judging from the youtube videos it looks like they wrote and rewrote the lyrics as they wrote and rewrote the songs. This would make sense given that “and under foot: the churning framework of this earth succumbs to rust” is almost exactly what it sounds like. It’s notable for being the slowest, sludgiest thing CTTS have ever done. Turns out these sexy vegetarians can survive on the sheer beefy depth of the guitars and the self-interrupting rhythms.

But the middle two tracks are the heart of this EP. Spirit Narrative is a short, shreddy, double-kicking call and response kind of animal. And the Way of Ever Branching Paths is a very challenging, shredding and centerless 9 minute knot of a song that expands upon the Narrative. Their sound has actually matured a fair bit. Initiation Rites is as good as Drew Speziale is insufferably pretentious, which is very.