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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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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wow!!

When thinking about prog rock coming out of Austria you're thinking Eela Craig, Kyrie Eleison and maybe one or two more, it was never a prog rock homebase, so I can safely say that this is the best album I've heard coming out from there. But not only that, I also think it's one of the best albums released in 2013 and that is saying a lot. Jeremias is filled to the brim with 80 minutes of top notch prog metal and production that can easily set the bar for clever, precise, tight and ambitious composing. It would be quite difficult at first getting your head around this grand piece of work but with a worthwhile dedication after a few more listenings it's easy to get addicted to the ideas, the melodies and those first class riffs. I usually get tired with 80 minutes albums since they are not so coherent and contains some moments that are weaker than others, it's hard maintaining the same high level of ideas and keeping the album flowing without falling into a few traps. But here thanks to Gerald Peter's persistence and years of hard work, crafting every second until it's complete, this album is near by flawless.

I'm not sure how many people are getting excited by the term rock opera, I know it evokes titles such as Hair or Jesus christ superstar but although Jeremais is a prog rock opera it is miles away from those albums. It's much closer to other famous prog metal concept albums such as Scenes From A Memory, Operation Mindcrime, and Ayreon albums, but I must say this is bigger, richer and more complex. The strong side of this album and I don't think anyone can appeal on that is the high level of arrangements which is exemplary by any standard, it isn't like anything I've ever came across with really. Just check out the album's opener Overture and you'll have a good idea of what's to come. The songs are not divided between them but flow from one to the next as the concept evolves, some ideas come back as you would expect from a concept album but they are done differently without over grinding the motifs.

The album offers a delicious cocktail of prime prog metal with orchestral instruments (don't think of a full orchestra sound, it's mainly violins and horns), so what you get is mainly symphonic prog metal with the addition of funk, jazz and dare I say even a slight disco feel for the final touch, reminding me of Pain Of Salavation and of course Dream Theater. This is challenging prog metal packed with carefully constructed ideas full of life and drama, every riff every drum roll is in its place exactly in the right amount, guitars are not all the time riffing there's a good balance between heavy and calmer moments, and overall the music is progressive and constantly going forward.

Fans of the genre will lick their fingers of this sole release of Circle Of Illusion, this impressive work has shown how much talent Gerald Peter has in making this puzzle fit together so well, presenting such a high level of creativity and a knack for songwriting and orchestration. Too bad we haven't heard of this guy in so many years, 4 big stars and just shy of the fifth star.

Sagichim | 4/5 |


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