Time-traversing, location-denying riff explosion with no end and no beginning

A couple of hectolitres of water have passed under the bridges of Kokemäenjoki river since Circle played its first riffs in the south-western coastal town of Pori in 1991. Nineteen years later, it's almost impossible to imagine the Finnish alternative music scene without Circle, so obvious is the band's influence on countless other Finnish bands. Frontman Jussi Lehtisalo and co. have paved the way for astonishing quantities of mind-boggling music coming from Pori.

It's quite clichéd to say that a band's music does not fit into categories, but in Circle's case, the reason for that lame definition is that the band has tried their hand in so many genres during their career. From the static Krautrock of their early days they smoothly went on to atmospheric ambient moods and then to heavy metal. And still, each of these twists was taken with such trademark style that whenever any song by Circle starts to play, the band behind it is instantly recognisable. The band's awesome career has been precisely documented: Circle has released about two dozen studio albums and a similar batch of live recordings. And once you run out of genres, you can always invent new ones. Circle has been elemental in introducing the concept of NWoFHM, New Wave of Finnish Heavy Metal.

The most important market for Circle's music has always been beyond the Finnish borders. Thanks to relentless touring in Europe and North America, the band has gathered an almost fanatical assembly of followers abroad. Circle's live performances do not follow the usual pattern: improvisation is heavily depended on, anything can happen, and sometimes the band decides to play previously unreleased material only. In this band's books, a perfect live song may last twenty minutes – an opportune time for Circle's hellish riff explosion to whip up the crowd into a hypnotic trance that traverses time and denies location.

The last time Circle was seen at Ilosaarirock Festival was in 1998, and the band has only played a handful of gigs in Finland over the last few years. The festival audience is going to be served a rare delicacy.

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