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A Chinese Firedrill - Circles CD (album) cover

CIRCLES

A Chinese Firedrill

 

Progressive Metal

3.64 | 32 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Joey Vera known mostly for his bass playing with FATES WARNING goes solo. He wrote and composed all the songs, and plays all the instruments except for drums and percussion. There is some really good heavy sections on this record which is no surprise considering Joey has played with ARMOURED SAINT, ANTHRAX and OSI. He has played as well with CHROMA KEY and that side of the music is very prominant as well. I would describe this album as a blend of PORCUPINE TREE and PHIDEAUX. Vera's vocals remind me of Phideaux Xavier's a lot, and the music really has a PT flavour. What we get really is a collection of excellent songs.

"Circles" is a song that would do well on FM radio. It has such a catchy chorus that it's infectious. Some chunky bass in the atmospheric intro before some killer heaviness arrives quickly. It eases off when the vocals come in. This contrast continues. Again I love the chorus. More atmosphere 3 minutes in. Great track. "Automatic Fantasy" eventually gets going as percussion, acoustic guitar then vocals come in. Very PORCUPINE TREE-like 2 1/2 minutes in. Awesome passage. Heavy 3 minutes in then back to the PT flavour. Piano 4 minutes in. Themes are repeated. "Insane" is the song where Joey brings Phideaux to my mind. Piano, percussion and Wilson-like guitar lead the way instrumentally. Full sound before 1 1/2 minutes. Contrast continues.

"Siucra" opens with wind-like sounds before a pleasant melody takes over. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. This is such an uplifting, feel good song. Very moving for me and a favourite along with the opening track. "Never Say Never" is heavy and raw at times. A Phideaux flavour is prominant once again before 2 minutes. Straight up metal 4 minutes in. "Grass And Stone (Ethereal)" opens with lots of atmosphere. Reserved vocals in this dark intro. Acoustic guitar is strummed as the mood changes. It gets more passionate 2 1/2 minutes in. Very atmospheric tune. The drumming in this one is outstanding. "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is the final and longest track. Spacey early as vocals join in. The guitar is excellent as he sings the title over and over. Quite powerful 4 minutes in. Very atmospheric 6 minutes in before heaviness returns a minute later. I don't like the chorus at all here.

Joey has done himself very proud with this release. There are sections that i'm not big on but overall a really good release. 3.5 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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