"Pori's favourite pranksters have along history of making things difficult for their listeners, but in the most enjoyably, obfuscatory way possible. This was the band who leased out their name to an entirely different group of hard rockers for the space of 2013, taking on the name Falcon (ex-Circle) for the duration of the loan of their identity before recovering their name as Circle (ex-Falcon).
Keeping track of Prince between becoming a symbol or returning to using a name like mere mortals seems straightforward and sensible by comparison to the various Circle band members' myriad of interlocking and self-covering musical identities. Here, they're simply Circle once more, except their new album is dubbed Pharaoh Overlord, in honour of their stoner rock(ish) side project; but, just in case all that's not yet confusing enough, Pharaoh Overlord are releasing an album called Circle at the same time.
What Circle haven't changed is their leftfield approach to music-making. Ever keen to mix and match apparently disparate formats until the notion of genre (a bit like band names) becomes more than a little blurred, Pharaoh Overlord brings Juho Viljanen's superbly stentorian horns into the group to dizzyingly honksome effect. Close-order crooning and wailing are the chosen vocal style here, vocalist and Judas Priest-idolising, leather-clad frontman Mika Rättö leading the group in uttering some of the finest harmonies available to space cadets everywhere, not just Finland.
The five tracks unfold on an ever-rolling undercarriage of groove and repetitive figures, unmistakably Circle in aspect yet freshly minted. The band pull off their uncanny trick of reinventing themselves sonically as well as by name once more, propelling towards new and surprising directions. Their mood here is ecstatically out there, the brass taking the sway and swoon on a stepping promenade into a world where jazz funk and kosmische mantras lock together in a delicious union of head-bobbing delights." (The Quietus)