Decompositions: Volume Number One

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Decompositions: Volume Number One
Circle Takes the Square - Decompositions Volume Number One.jpg
Studio album by Circle Takes the Square
Released December 21, 2012 (2012-12-21)
Genre Screamo, grindcore, post-metal, folk
Length 55:30
Label Gatepost
Producer Anthony Stubelek, Circle Takes the Square
Circle Takes the Square chronology
Rites of Initiation
(2011)Rites of Initiation2011
Decompositions: Volume Number One

Decompositions: Volume Number One is the second studio album by the American screamo band Circle Takes the Square. The album was released digitally on December 21, 2012 through Gatepost Recordings. Decompositions: Volume Number One is the first studio album released from Circle Takes the Square since 2004's As the Roots Undo.


Circle Takes the Square released the first chapter of Decompositions as a stand-alone, promotional EP on August 23, 2011, and intended to quickly follow up this release with Decompositions: Volume Number One three months later in November 2011.[1][2] The album was, however, not released until over a year after this projected release date on December 21, 2012 through Gatepost Recordings—coinciding with the alleged 2012 Mayan apocalypse.[3] Decompositions: Volume Number One was originally released digitally through the band's Bandcamp profile with a pay what you want pricing scheme. The limited-time pay what you want price expired upon the release of physical LPs and CDs in January 2013, but has since been reinstated.[3][4]

Musical style[edit]

Brian Shultz of Alternative Press wrote that the band's "self-described bout of 'apocalyptic punk rock'" features "haunting and difficult, almost chokingly dense songwriting that blends practically every type of DIY punk movement of the last two decades and then some into epic, sprawling orchestrations. There are the throat-shredding spasms of early screamo...; grueling, crustcore atmospheres; sludgy, post-metal chugging; erratic, Calculating Infinity-like time changes, dizzying guitar riffs and grindcore drum fills; and even shockingly major-key, inherently melodic folk".[5] According to Doug Moore of Invisible Oranges, the album is more in line with heavy metal than As the Roots Undo in terms of production, and employs elements of hardcore, grind, post-rock, emo and black metal.[6]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[5]
Exclaim! (8/10)[7]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars[8]

Track listing[edit]

Chapter I: Rites of Initiation
No. Title Length
1. "Enter by the Narrow Gates" 6:55
2. "Spirit Narrative" 2:46
3. "Way of Ever-Branching Paths" 8:57
4. "The Ancestral Other Side" 4:27
Chapter II: Totem Polaris
No. Title Length
5. "Prefaced by the Signal Fires" 5:25
6. "A Closing Chapter (Scarlet Rising)" 4:54
7. "Singing Vengeance into Being" 6:48
8. "Arrowhead as Epilogue" 4:24
9. "North Star, Inverted" 10:54
Total length: 55:30


Circle Takes the Square

  • Drew Speziale – vocals, guitar
  • Kathy Stubelek – vocals, bass
  • David Rabitor – guitar, backing vocals
  • Caleb Collins – drums, backing vocals


  • Anthony Stubelek – recording, mixing, mastering, production
  • Circle Takes the Square – production


  1. ^ Gotrich, Lars (August 19, 2011). "Circle Takes The Square: Hymn-Like, Labyrinthine Chaos". NPR. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ Yancey, Bryne (August 16, 2011). "Circle Takes The Square's 'Decompositions: Volume 1' coming in November". Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b McGovern, Kyle (December 21, 2012). "Circle Takes the Square to Release 'Pay What You Want'-Priced Album Tonight". Spin. Buzz Media. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Brian Shultz (January 10, 2013). "Circle Takes The Square - Decompositions:Volume Number One". Alternative Press. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ Moore, Doug (January 7, 2013). "Circle Takes The Square – ‘Decompositions Volume Number One’". Invisible Oranges. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  7. ^ Natalie Zina Walschots (December 21, 2012). "Circle Takes the Square Decompositions: Volume One - Metal Reviews". Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ Kleman, Eli (January 3, 2013). "Album Review - Circle Takes the Square: Decompositions: Volume Number One". SputnikMusic. Retrieved January 11, 2017.