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Circus Maximus - Isolate CD (album) cover


Circus Maximus


Progressive Metal

3.77 | 188 ratings

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4 stars An album that blasts your nerve .

Yeah. it's another prog met band! The first time I listened to this CD, it blew me away and it did not require me to have more spins to like this album - it's so good at first blast! When I listened to the opening track of this album, I remembered ADAGIO who shares similar vein like this song to my ears. This band is currently discussed intensely in i-Rock! mailing list down here at my country. Actually, when someone posted about this band couple of months ago, I did not pay attention to it until I visited my colleague Andre's office and he demonstrated this album with full power (loud volume). Wow! It's so energetic!

The opening track "Darkened Mind" is truly a prog met killer as it serves anything you expect from any progmet tune. Do you expect energy and drive? You got it! This song combines heavy riffs with powerful drum beats and stunning guitar melody. Do you expect melody? Oh man . don't tell me .. this song is very strong in melody line. Do you expect a sort of symphonic nuance? Yeah, you got it! The keyboard work serves wonderfully to accentuate the melody line. Even the vocal line is so powerful! This is the kind of song that you expect to blast when you are facing the wall of despair - tired with unfavorable situation due to arguments with clients, bosses, customers or spouse .. It's truly an uplifting track. In fact, it's good track to start the day.

"Abyss" starts off with drum solo followed with intense combination of keyboard and guitar - followed beautifully with excellent singing line. For me personally, this track has great riffs and sound effects that accompany touchy melody through vocal line. Mike Eriksen's vocal is truly excellent. His voice quality really match the music of Circus Maximus. "Wither" continues the beauty of previous tracks with slower in tempo but still maintaining great melody. In fact, the chorus line of this track is really wonderful. In a way it reminds me to the kind of glam rock music but with progressive metal touch.

"Sane No More" is definitely a MASTERPIECE instrumental track. It starts with great staccato combining stunning keyboard work, guitar riffs and powerful drumming and tight basslines. When keyboard takes over the solo, the song changes into more challenging venture especially when the solo is then passed on to guitar. I think you will definitely agree with me that this song is very powerful especially in demonstrating the virtuosities of the band's keyboard player Espen Storo. But it's not only that, the riffs combine with acrobatic guitar and keyboard played at relatively fast tempo are all truly great.

"Arrival Of Love" is a straight hard-rocker with predictable melody and music flow. Fans of prog met might not like this album because it has pop component. "Zero" is a ballad with stunning piano intro accompanying melodic vocal line. This time, the vocal is delivered in low register notes. The orchestration of this track is good. "Mouth Of Madness" starts off wit acoustic guitar fills which accompany vocal. It's a nice guitar work. The music blasts off with heavy riffs and symphonic nuance through the work of keyboard combined with guitar riffs.

"From Childhood's Hour" is another excellent track with keyboard section serves as string arrangements. The guitar solo is stunning especially when it's combined with piano work. The concluding track "Ultimate Sacrifice" is another favorite of mine. It starts with heavy riffs textured by the multi-layer keyboard work. Again, I love the combined guitar riffs, keyboard work and vocal line at the opening part and throughout the rest of the song. It's another uplifting track that I really enjoy - especially during transition pieces where keyboard serves like string section and brings the colossal nature of a movie like Lord of The Rings. The guitar solo by Mats Haugen is really stunning.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection. The music of Circus Maximus is basically progressive metal with some classical music influence. The songwriting and composition are top notch! Combined with flawless performance and excellent sonic quality of the CD, they make up four stars rating for this album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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