The progressive metal that Stellar Circuits play is in the vein of acts such as Tesseract and Karnivool: atmospheric, expansive, punchily produced, often moving at a sombre mid-tempo. If you’ve been following them since their 2015 self-titled debut, you’ll note that they used to go with a leaner sound, with less emphasis on that heavy low-end which they currently make use of. What has remained consistent is Ben Beddick’s tenor, a principal strength of the band; his cleans are smooth and elastic, while his harshes pierce through forcefully. Anyone looking out for a solid, versatile vocal performance will find something to enjoy from Stellar Circuits’ discography.
“Nocturnal Visitor”, a new single from Stellar Circuit’s upcoming album Ways We Haunt, arrives with syncopated, dense riffing à la Altered State-era Tesseract, and then quickly gives way to shimmering leads. The delicate vocals are a nice complement, mixed to shine throughout. The halfway point presents a surprise, and certainly breaks out of the genre expectations that I’ve been led to have so far: a fierce breakdown, akin to one you’d find in contemporary metalcore. It makes a reappearance near the end, closing things off on an unexpected note. At this point, you could make a comparison to Thornhill, who employ a Northlane-Karnivool fusion quite wonderfully; however, Stellar Circuits lean towards slower, more pensive tendencies, whilst Thornhill are more explosive.
It’s worth observing Stellar Circuit to gain some insight into a strain of progressive metal that is intriguingly incorporating some metalcore influences; the resulting blend is something separate from standard progressive metalcore, since the former tends to retain more clean vocals (with the signature “dramatic” delivery) and doesn’t have the same streak of aggression. In the case of “Nocturnal Visitor”, the blend is heterogeneous — it juxtaposes recognizable characteristics from the two genres.
Stellar Circuits release Ways We Haunt on November 9; it’s available for pre-order here. Also, catch the band on tour on the following dates:
10/21 – Greensboro, NC @ Blind Tiger
10/27 – Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero
11/2 – Winston-Salem, NC @ The RamKat
Ways We Haunt Tour
11/9 – Nashville, TN @ Little Harpeth Brewing
11/10 – Huntsville, AL @ Sidetracks Music Hall
11/11 – Memphis, TN @ Growlers
11/12 – Atlanta, GA @ Union EAV
11/13 – Columbus, GA @ Soho
11/15 – Sarasota, FL @ 5 O’Clock Club
11/16 – New Port Richey, FL @ The Verona
11/17 – Greenville, SC @ Radio Room