Circa Survive – Juturna

Release Date: April 19, 2005
Reviewed by Scott Olivenbaum

In recent months emo has become a negative tag for music. The name has been applied primarily to post hardcore music with teenage poetry for lyrics. Many bands of the style have recently attempted to dodge the tag. No one wants to be pigeonholed or called sellout even though labels have clamored for groups of the ilk, and in turn flooded the mainstream with any album of angst.

Circa Survive’s Juturna is an emo album in that every note, every word is played with the singular goal of emoting. There is no whining, no screaming, no verses begging for prepubescent sing-alongs. Juturna fuses prog stylings with post hardcore form and pure emotion to create a warm yet reclusive soundscape. Anthony Green’s youthful vocals are more caressing than complaining as they tackle the sadness and sorrows of a tumultuous relationship and leave sensation of hope.

Brian McTernan produced and mixed the album and did a stunning job. The singing is clearly in the forefront but is quite complimentary to the rest of the elements. Even when the guitars are amped up and the drums are pounding, the mix keeps them low key. Actually, everything is a bit muted, which perhaps is what leads to the feeling of warmth that emanates from the pervasive groove.

“In Fear and Faith” is probably the top track on the release but it is hard to judge as Circa Survive has done what few bands do anymore: created an album. From the opening “Holding Someone’s Hair Back” to the closing “Meet Me in Montauk”, Juturna is a beautiful listen on a lonely car ride or during a Sunday evening rain shower.

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