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Circle of Illusion - Jeremias - Foreshadow of Forgotten Realms CD (album) cover


Circle of Illusion


Progressive Metal

4.01 | 161 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars A completely crazed neo-prog/retro-prog/progressive symphonic metal/avant-groove concept album with occasional funk disco moments, this debut from Circle of Illusion offers more genres than you'd find in an entire record shop, often within the bounds of a single song. Gerald Peter has assembled a compelling unit here comprising not just a finely honed band but also three (!) vocalists - Taris Brown, whose gentle delivery reminds me a little of Roine Stolt, and the powerful Cara Cole and Elga Shafran, each of whom takes the role of a different character in the story. The lyrics and story may come across a little cheesy - not to mention bizarre and over the top - but subtlety and restraint clearly aren't the order of the day here.

The end result is a fun, playful debut which reminds me of what might happen if Disco Volante-era Mr Bungle ended up listening to a lot of early Marillion and Pendragon at its best points. However, it doesn't quite stand up to repeated listens as well as it could, and with the passage of time I found myself drawn back to it less and less. It has much of the usual issues of bands who want to come across as "progger than prog", in that the technical flashiness ends up a little empty and coherent songwriting, storytelling and the development of emotional mood and atmosphere end up suffering just because someone wanted to add a quirky little bit here or there.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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