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Circles - Where Moments Fade CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.05 | 2 ratings

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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars Having listened to the title-track in a ProSphere compilation, I was immediately stunned by the complexity and number of ideas that Circles fitted in more than 17 minutes. This debut has somehow slipped the attention of the prog-metal world, owing primarily to the very little exposure and advertising the band had.

''Where Moments Fade'' is a promising debut, drawing mainly its influences from the progressive mental spectrum, with Pain of Salvation (albeit at a lighter version) being the main point of reference. The impressive start to their careers is represented with the title track, which compounds jazz, blues, funk into the lively progressive metal mix, mainly driven by Neuhart's versatile guitar ideas and technical prowess. The latter also applies to the rest of the group, apparently a set of skillful players showing a high level of musicianship.

The concept of the album plays around love/death/murder with theatrical interludes here and there, which don't always work to their intended effect, mainly due to the lack of powerful vocals, which is the one point of concern with this release and takes away some of the fire. Either on the heavier sections ('Mirror Sky') or the softer, Neal Morse-like passages ('...Away'), the vocals sound somewhat raw and unpolished at times. The second epic, 'Mirror Sky', attempts to do the same as the opener (we can even hear some flamenco parts here) but comes out as a rather confusing mix, lacking on the build-up and cohesion. 'Crossfield J' and 'Back in Hell' are the two (extended) rockers; the former impresses with its fusion-esque character (a la Liquid Tension Experiment) and unstoppable pace, while the latter relies more on the standard rock-n-roll/70's retro tempo.

Some truly excellent moments (Where Moments Fade, Crossfield J) and the apparent musical talent of the band are elements of the recipe for a promising follow-up, on which the band is already working. This debut falls short of the "excellent" rating but not by far, deserving 3+ stars, in an overall joyful experience.

With thanks to the band for the promo; check it out here - [email protected]

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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