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Circus Maximus - Isolate CD (album) cover


Circus Maximus


Progressive Metal

3.76 | 189 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Wow, I was quite surprised of how good this CD actually is. I never heard of this band before and I got Isolate by pure chance. Ok, I did have a four year period when I was listening almost solely to prog metal bands, or just classic metal. But from 2002 onwards my tastes shifted back to symphonic prog again and it has remained so ever since. Besides, the prog metal scene, so fresh and exciting during the 90īs, had become dull and repetitive by the new millenium, I had little reason to think that would change. Iīm glad now to say some groups do stand out, making the style still worth checking out from time to time. And Circus Maximus is definitly one of them. They have everything I like from the style: high energy, skillful musicians, a superb singer. great production. But most of all they know how to write great songs, the melodies are terrific and the arrangements are clever and creative. Not bad at all!

I heard they were heavy influenced by Dream Theater or Symphony X, and certainly those influences are clear, but the band is more melodic, accessible and have greater hooks than both groups. The interplay is absolute fabulous, with little room for endless noodling or unnecessary displays of too much technique. They are certainly team players and the music flow is simply terrific, with all the songs being very strong and remarkable (just listen to Abyss, probably the best track here). Mike Eriksen is a an excellent vocalist, perfect for the style: powerful, technical and emotional at the same time. What really impressed me the most was how they balanced the AOR-like melodies with heavy guitars and drums, making their sound quite unique and highly pleasant. With no weak moments at all, Isolate became one of my favorite CDs this year. I just canīt get enough of it!

Rating: this is a very difficult one to rate. I personally would love to give it 5 stars for its sheer qualities, but I should point out that PA is primarely a progressive site. So I guess a 4 star rating is more fitting, for itīs an excellent addition to any music lover collection, prog or otherwise.

Conclusion: a real nice surprise. One of the most interesting albums done by a Prog metal band I heard in a long, long time. Iīm looking forward to listen to their other works. If you like a energetic mix of memorable melodies and heavy guitars, performed with conviction and intelligence, then you canīt miss this one!

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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