Sound — 9
"Circle Of The Sun" is the first album by New Zealander Stoner band Arc Of Ascent, released in 2010. A shame that these guys still aren't that well known, even on Stoner Rock scene (despite founder Craig Williamson being something of a icon in Stoner's underground). This is a parallel project of multi-instrumentalist Craig Williamson, who have also played in Datura in the late 90's (another amazing band) and formed Lamp Of The Universe. This album is really, really awesome. A great mix of solid doom riffs and space rock trips can define it at first. The songs here are pretty long (shorter one is "Absolution In Light", running at 6:14), but you just can't get bored if you love this mix of heavy riffs and space rock experimentations. The tone of the instruments, the crushing riffs, the unreal trips, everything here has the power to make you fly to Mars and come back. Craig Williams plays bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizer and a few sitar parts (you can check how skilled this guy is on sitar if you listen to Lamp Of The Universe) and sings, while Sandy Schaare plays guitar and John Strange the drums. Don't even hesitate to listen this if you are into space oriented-stoner rock or even if you already know Datura and Lamp Of The Universe. You won't be disappointed.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics match up very well with the band's sounding, talking about unreal things and trips. Not so much to talk about them, basically they talk about it, but they're really amazing. Craig's voice here is also pretty good. I don't think he is a unusual singer or something like that, but he has a damn good voice. By the way, the band's sounding doesn't ask for a Freddie Mercury or something like that, and his voice just got what it takes. Really nice.
Overall Impression — 9
Just go listen to this album right now, if you're into Stoner Rock or Craig Williamson's previous works, I'm pretty sure you will like this. Really sounds like a 70's rock band, with the production's work giving it a touch of "nowadays". I would point "Universal Form" and its riff machinery and the trippy "The Inner Sign" as the best songs here, but this album is amazing at all. I don't really think there's even a standard song here. This is just another proof that Craig Williamson is one underrated guy.