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Circus Maximus - Nine CD (album) cover


Circus Maximus


Progressive Metal

3.90 | 188 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars In my opinion, this third album from Circus Maximum shows a firmer musical style. It maintains a lot of good progressive elements, more guitar dominating, and yet more accessible in the overall composition.

'Forging' is a short instrumental opening , with dark keyboard sound. Perhaps for conditioning our ears or as an entree for the upcoming long track 'Architect of Fortune'

There are 3 long tracks between 8-10 minutes each. 'Architect of Fortune' is the longest track, with killer guitar solo even from the beginning of the song. The interlude has a long instrumental sections, primarily guitar, but also has good keyboard and bass companions. The main theme is anthemic, well played with several moods : slower pace by piano to fast glorious guitar riff.

The two others are the last two tracks : 'Burn After Reading' is for me the best composition in this album. Great flow from the intro to the end. Many great instrumental sections and harmonisation between guitar and keyboards. The neo- classical arpeggio style in the guitar section is a real killer solo. The bass and drum works provide great rhythm. Meticulous work from all band members. 'Last Goodbye' : gotta like this glorious farewell track! The intro is uniquely use 80's keyboard sound with acoustics guitar. The overall mood of the song is a good mix of melancholic and optimistic.

'Namaste' has a darker tone, where much of it is contributed by phrygian notes from main guitar riffs. The short guitar solo is shifted to major scale and that is kind of surprising delight from the mood change. This mood is similar to 7th track 'Used', very intensive heavy rhythm and riffs.

'Game of Life' is a great track with a catchy theme but decorated with heavy phrases. Seems like lighter keyboards and heavier guitar sounds are perfectly matched in this song. It has one of the best guitar solos in this album.

The other 3 tracks 'Reach Within', 'I Am' and 'The One' are a bit pop-oriented but still have some good changes in time signature and mood. Great guitar solo in all of those three tracks, and excellent keyboard solo on ' The One'.

A special note worth mention to Mats Haugen more and more powerful yet beautiful guitar works. His work is very rich, from the use of Phrygian scale, neo-classical elements, heavy riffs, fast and clean shredding and nice melody (somethimes surprisingly emerged out from a heavy phrase) .

This is a real good album for progressive metal fan. It has dark and heavy sound without loosing musical beauty. Even the guitar is dominant, the strength of the compositions, particularly 'Architect Of Fortune' and 'Burn After Reading' prove that CM is a great as a band.

Mark-P | 4/5 |


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