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Dead Letter Circus: Aesthesis

Another Brisbane band pushing their own boundaries ever further.

Have Dead Letter Circus undergone an epiphany?

On their third album, these Aussies seem more focused than before, accentuating the more atmospheric conditions of their music and allowing this to dictate where the songs are going. In the past, the band have been a little derivative; here, basing their work around Kim Benzie’s evocative vocals, they’re striding out with determination to ensure individuality is paramount. You can hear it on In Plain Sight and While You Wait, both of which build comfortably and smoothly, yet never towards dull crescendos. There’s no sense of the band following the usual motif of reaching a climactic conclusion. Here, the compositions tilt between coy, melodic claustrophobia and a more erudite, catatonic rhythmic flourish. This is even more emphasised on The Burning Number, which is imbued with a sensuously percussive foray from Luke Williams, while Change The Concept leans more toward alt rock, featuring coruscating guitar interplay. Dead Letter Circus are slowly perfecting the symbiosis between space and complexity. This isn’t a masterwork but the band are steadily striding towards their peak.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.