Circa Survive – “Descensus” Review // Music Review Monday

The album that almost never happened. That’s how the band refers to their latest concerted effort. The album starts with the track Schema, a powerful song, one of the most energetic of Circa Survive’s entire career. Lyrically, this album is in a completely different place than anything else they’ve ever done, as well. Anthony Green wrote this album after leaving rehab.
The band was in a tough place leading up to this album. Colin Frangicetto and Nick Beard, the band’s guitarist and bassist, were both facing divorce. Anthony Green took time off to focus on his solo career, and in the end had to come forward with his debilitating heroin addiction.circa survive

‘I’m addicted to heroin, and I want to kill myself, and I don’t think I’m good to be around anybody in my family and they’d be better off if I was just dead.’

That’s how Anthony felt before rehab. His wife had suspected he was using, but no one knew what it was exactly. The album is filled with metaphors of life, death, addiction, and depression, as well as some lyrics that allude to the most desperate moments of Green’s life. Always Begin starts with the lyrics, “I never wanted to beg for you, I never wanted to ask anyone for their help,” clearly alluding to the moment where he asked for help. The band is in a much better place now, and this album clearly shows the maturity and improvements they’ve made over the years.

Only The Sun is one of the catchiest songs they’ve ever written, with tortured lyrics and catchy guitar riffs. The album thrives on the emotions of frustration and guilt, and you can feel it. Green’s usually vague subject matter is a little more evident after the public statements made about Anthony’s struggle with addiction. The particularly harrowing yet beautiful Nesting Dolls is a deeply personal ballad, and Green digs into your skull with the repetition of “I don’t wanna feel like this ever ever ever ever ever again,” after the admittance of “You shouldn’t stay, we’ll never change.” It’s heart wrenching, knowing that the words were written out of guilt over his addiction. It’s cathartic listening to such a beautifully broken album. Props to Green and the rest of Circa Survive for producing something so raw and real.

Even the album’s title has a deeper meaning behind it. Descensus refers to “The process of descending or falling from a higher position.” I’m sure you can figure out what they could be referring to.

The album is the best they’ve done since 2007s On Letting Go.  If you haven’t heard it, check out the title track below.

Rating: 8/10
Check Out: Circa Survive – On Letting Go // Saosin – In Search Of Solid Ground // Secret & Whisper – Great White Whale