Artist: Circle II Circle
   Title: Delusions Of Grandeur
   Label: AFM Records

As well as Jon Oliva’s Pain another band Circle II Circle has developed out of the ashes of Metal Gods Savatage.  Circle II Circle are led by Zak Stevens, otherwise known as the powerhouse vocal behind the Savatage albums ‘Edge Of Thorns’, ‘Dead Winter Dead’, ‘Handful Of Rain’ and ‘The Wake Of Magellan’.  In 2001 Stevens decided to leave Savatage and form his own band Circle II Circle.

With three albums already under their belt Zak and Co return with their latest release ‘Delusion of Grandeur’, another monumental leap forward for the band as they power on through the ranks of the Metal gentry and set their sights on the crown with this monstrous new release.

The album gets off the a fantastic start with ‘Fatal Warning’ with the guitars of Evan Christopher and Andy Lee making an instant impact, together with the pummelling drums of Rob Drennan not far behind them.  Then Stevens unleashes those unmistakable vocals and it's like an explosion in a magnet factory, everything comes together in a mass of charged metal that is then carried on throughout the album.

This raw un-compromised metal assault continues with ‘Dead Of Dawn’, another power infused track with Stevens at the helm and with Lee producing some quite outstanding licks, whilst Drennan and bassist Paul Steward bring forward the energy and gusto to the song.

It's power all the way with the excellent anthemic ‘Forever’ with Stevens reaching new highs along with some pummelling bass and drums courtesy of Drennan and Stewart, again with Lee and Christopher adding those all important licks.

The more you listen to this album the more impressive it gets with Stevens the undoubted star as he powers through the entire album.  Lee is equally impressive with his guitar parts and as the album unfolds, the like of ‘Echoes’ with its more gentle refrain and additional keyboards show the band are more than just a bombastic metal assault, they also have a more gentle melodic side.

It's all guns blazing again with the rip snorting ‘Waiting’ and the tremendous ‘Soul Breaker’ before the sedate rumblings of the quiet magnificent ‘Seclusion’.  This one starts off quite humbly but soon builds into a monster with Stevens vocals acting as support to Lee’s timeless riff building.

‘So Many Reasons’ carries on the Melodic Metal although this one shows Stevens more rough velvet vocal style, that those familiar with his Savatage work will appreciate and with the thunderous bass of Stewart and the towering guitars of Lee and Christopher, this ranks as one of my favourite tracks on the album.

‘Chase the Lies’ is another fine example of how the band's sound has progressed over the past four albums.  This song is right up there with 'So Many Reasons' as one of the highlights off the album for me.  This is modern metal done to perfection.

The album closes on another high with the superb ‘Every Last Thing’ and rounds off what has to be the band's finest hour and one that will send Circle II Circle on their way to international stardom


Tracklisting:

1 Fatal Warning
2 Dead Of Dawn
3 Forever
4 Echoes
5 Waiting
6 Soul Breaker
7 Seclusion
8 So Many Reasons
9 Chase The Lies
10 Every Last Thing 
                  

 

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