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Circuline - Counterpoint CD (album) cover

COUNTERPOINT

Circuline

 

Crossover Prog

3.82 | 16 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Circuline's latest album appears to be destined to be near the top of my list of the best albums of 2016. The strength of their songwriting and performance, along with a mastery of a number of prog styles has kept this disc in heavy rotation in my CD player for months now.

The album features many guest guitarists, most notable, to me at least, are Stanley Whitaker From Happy The Man, Doug Ott from Enchant, and Kamran Alan Shikoh from Glass Hammer, who all rise to the occasion on their tracks.

Opening with "New Day", a sort of post rock guitar blast, with Apollo 11 astronaut snippets (not the most original concept, I know), the album begins with a hint of the energy and excitement to come.

The second track, "Who I Am", veers toward the area prog sound, sort of like a blend of Spock's Beard and Styx (the good Styx, not the later, poppy Styx). And it works.

So we get a ballad, "Forbidden Planet", lifted by a great Alek Darson (of Fright Pig) guitar solo, some more straight ahead tracks, like "Nautilus", with a beautiful slinky bass line, a riff in the verses that reminds me a bit of the Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider", and a nod to one of my all time favorite TV shows, a couple of short experimental tracks, and two powerful prog epics, "Hollow" and "Summit", the highlights of the album.

As I mentioned earlier, the instument performances are exceptional. My only (slight) criticism is the vocalist Billy Spillane, who sounds, when singing alone, slightly off, but I just can't pinpoint what is off - his melodies don't quite mesh with the music. Conversely, when he blends with the other lead vocalist, Natalie Brown, the results are outstanding.

Evolver | 4/5 |

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