Published Mar 16, 2016New British experimental rock threesome Haelos' debut album, Full Circle, is loaded with synths and heavily influenced by '90s trip-hop group Portishead. Their EP, Earth Not Above, was released in 2015 and met with praise (some of the songs appear on Full Circle), although Haelos have yet to establish a sound of their own on their latest release.
Full Circle starts out strong, opening with a cinematic intro that features Alan Watts' speech "The Spectrum of Love." Following Watts' voiceover, the vocals of Arthur Delaney, Dom Goldsmith and Lotti Benardout break the barrier between the intro and "Pray," leaving little room to breathe before a hazy synth beat kicks in. "Dust" and "Full Circle" follow, both glowing songs that fit in well after a tantalizing build-up.
With "Pray" and "Full Circle," the trio's vocals work together with dark synths to create an irresistibly haunting effect that gives us a quick taste of what Haelos are capable of. However, once "Oracle" strikes, it's as if Haelos get stuck; the rest of the album becomes repetitive, sending listeners into a synth-induced stupor. As a result, Full Circle as a whole feels anti-climactic.
It's a rough start for Haelos, aren't exactly short on potential — here's hoping they branch out and find themselves on future releases. (Matador)