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Circus Maximus - Havoc CD (album) cover

HAVOC

Circus Maximus

 

Progressive Metal

2.96 | 58 ratings

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Mark-P
3 stars To my surprise, at the time I wrote this review, there were only 2 reviews out of 48 ratings in PA. In this fourth album. Circus Maximus has changed a lot their sound and musical style, unfortunately to the direction that is not to my taste. Most of the compositions are rather lean in progressive elements. In some tracks, the sound is heavier and modernized ? I mean the use of sound enhancer and effects are a bit too much for me.

Opening track 'The Weight' has a good shift from dark intro to more accessible phrases. Great drumming by Truls Haugen, frequent changes in rhythms and use of unconventional time signature provide nice progressive elements. Intensive use of power chord and great guitar solo also give strong prog metal taste.

The second track 'Highest Bitter' offers a different sound, with a unique vocal and bass duet in the intro. The interlude has a nice keyboard section for a prelude to a nice guitar solo. The title track 'Havoc' is a short track with aggressive mood and heavy guitar riffs and awesome solo. This is again a new sound for CM. 'Pages' has a great heavy bass track. Love the interlude part, great solo keyboard and one of the best solo guitar in this album.

'Loved Ones' is the best composition in this album. It started with a slow paced peaceful tone and changes faster in the course of the song. The chorus has a nice hook with a great vocal. The interlude has a awesome guitar solo and great variation of time signatures. Nice 8-minute track! 'After The Fire' is also another good 8 and half minute track. It has more keyboard works in this track that give symphonic flavour.

'Flames' is for me a least interesting track in the album, not much to say about this track. 'Remember', even tough a quite light composition, might be one of coolest track to play in live. Great keyboard work, successfully set the optimistic mood of the song.

Chivalry' is a good ending track. Rich composition with anthemic theme that is well performed . Nice unconventional drum fills in the middle of the song, great bass line and guitar riffs. Kind of song that in live concert will take the audience's breath away.

Michael Eriksen vocal and Mats Haugen guitar works remain the two dominant elements. Mats Haugen is undoubtedly great guitarist, with superior ability to write a solo and riffs that are melodic and beautiful even for the song with dark mood. It is also good to hear more dynamic keyboards, drum and bass sections. CM as a band still demonstrates their talent in song writing and great chemistry in track like 'Loved Ones'.

So far, If I have to rank CM albums, I would rank them from most to least favourite as : Nine, 1st Chapter, Isolation and Havoc. True that each of these albums has unique great moments, but from overall sound and composition (this is a progressive music point of view after all), Nine is to me a mature CM with great tracks.

Mark-P | 3/5 |

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