Metal Band of the Year: Circle Back 

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The guys in Circle Back were angry, as always, when they found out about their CPMA win for Metal Band of the Year. OK, we kid — that's not true at all. In spite of the group's onstage volatility, Circle Back's frontman and lead vocalist John Marino was extremely gracious when he heard the news, saying on behalf of the group, "We are truly humbled and appreciative of all the support from our fans and the local alternative press. We plan on celebrating this honor internally and with our loyal following, because we would be five guys jamming in a storage unit without them."

It seems as though this recognition was the perfect way to encapsulate what had already been a big year for Circle Back. For most of it, Marino and company have stayed busy channelling their collective aggression into the tracks that comprise what is perhaps their strongest release to date, Terminus, which, fittingly, arrived just in time for hurricane season. "We had been working hard on that album pretty much since right after our self-titled EP came out in 2017," Marino noted. "This one is a bit darker overall in terms of sound and has a more metallic feel then some of the straightforward hardcore albums we have released in the past."

Marino reveals that, as part of the ongoing promotion for Terminus, Circle Back will be out and about more than usual in the coming weeks. "We will actually be embarking on a short run of tour dates in December, with a few close friends," he says, "because we are really looking forward to introducing our music to some new faces outside of this area." They also have some huge shows planned for their home state as well. "Dec. 9, we will be playing with the legendary Agnostic Front at New Brookland Tavern in Columbia. In addition to that, we will kick off 2020 with metallic hardcore giants, Integrity. That show is also at NBT."

Speaking again for his cohorts — Nathan Beaty and Richard Kelly on guitar, Robert Gaynor on bass, and Jared Timmons on drums — Marino concludes on a sentimental note. "Most of us have been in bands for a very long time and have seen some level of commercial achievement. Although that is nice, these days we measure success by the comments and messages we receive from people right here in Charleston, and all over the world, who took time out of their busy day to check us out for the first time and tell us how our music or lyrics affected them on a personal level. We believe in the emotional connection that ties in with music and we appreciate the positive impact our music can have on someone's life." —Kevin Wilson


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