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Circus Maximus - Isolate CD (album) cover


Circus Maximus


Progressive Metal

3.75 | 190 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I want to take a moment to encourage anyone who listened to Circus Maximus' first album, The 1st Chapter (how appropriately titled, eh?), and found it good but not good enough to keep listening to try this album out. They've really developed their own individuality in this album, the album has a more polished feel, more professional sound mixing, and I feel overall they've shown that their potential is being realized. I want to point out and focus on the real prog gems of the album, but the album over all is a masterpiece, having a "something for everyone" type of setup where each song is showcasing different elements of the band. This band has a way of writing, dare I say, "radio-friendly" prog songs that have a deceptively simple feel to them, but underneath are subtle time-signature changes, and they will often surprise you with a very cool proggy instrumental at the end of such a song. But like I said, I want to point out a couple of the songs that really stick out to me as Progressive monsters. For example, the instrumental "Sane No More" shines, competing with Dream Theater's "Dance of Eternity" in the "Best Instrumental Progressive Rock Song" and "Most Time Signature Changes In a Song" categories, and I nominate "Mouth of Madness" in the "Best Progressive Metal Epic of the Year" category. But I point these out only to try to focus attention on these as some of the more complex and, to me, interesting pieces of the album. All throughout the album are strewn good progressive elements, but what makes this band extraordinary are their ability to hold back at times and be more subtle, in order to appeal to a broader audience. For example, "Arrival of Love" has a feel that reminds me of Def Leppard, with a more classic rock feel to it, but then they start to drop in some nice time signature changes Matts Haugen's guitar work is showcased very well. And "From Childhood's Hour" starts out with a very dark, heavy feel but abbruptly changes to a quieter, more poppy feel. But then in the chorus you can allmost hear them saying "Ha! Fooled you! We're a Progressive Metal band baby!" as they throw in some time changes and heavy rhythm guitar. And at the end of the song there is a very cool instrumental section that starts out with some mysterious sliding guitar sounds, and then abruptly shifts to a much heavier Prog Metal sound. This band has created a lot of buzz in Prog Metal circles, and I am going to say it is well deserved.
dtguitarfan | 5/5 |


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