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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Circle of Fate

Back To Life

Review by Gary Hill

This band is from Chicago. They’ve been around for ten years now. As someone who hails from within a hundred miles of that city, I’m amazed that I’m just now hearing them for the first time. This is an excellent metal band that does a great job of combining modern and classic metal sounds into a mélange that’s quite unique. They have a female lead singer and that might lead one to think they will be one of the never ending series of epic metal female fronted bands that are becoming so clichéd these days as to be a joke. Well, that’s not the case. They occasionally wander close to that territory, but never cross the line into feeling trite. Overall this is a diverse and powerful metal album that should please fans of old school metal and the more modern version. I will have to keep my ear to the ground for this group coming around. They are well worth watching for.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sanctify
This starts as more of an acoustic rocker, but quickly shifts to electric and raw metal. It's a powerhouse that brings a kind of epic metal sound down to Earth. This is almost equal parts Lacuna Coil, Guns N Roses and WASP. I suppose Doro would be a valid reference, too, but this is more modern raw hard rock than that. There is a killer modern metal jam later, too.
Skeletons
More hard edged metal, this one stomps out. It reminds me quite a bit of Warlock. There are a couple changes and the chorus on this is quite catchy.


My Religion
Echoey, flanged sounding music brings this in. It’s metal, but quite melodic. This is more old school metal than it is epic, but there’s plenty of that genre on show here, too. A number of changes take this through some killer territory.
What If
More modern in texture, this reminds me of a cross between solo Ozzy Osbourne music and Godsmack. It’s got a really catchy hook and has some Alice In Chains in the midst, too. The hook actually reminds me of one from Pearl Jam – “Even Flow”.
Broke My Heart

In a lot of ways this has a more modern texture and it feels more like the epic metal that has become so clichéd these days. Of course, this band doesn’t cross the line into generica and this is actually a great piece of variety and a killer tune.

Unshattered
This is closer to the motif of the previous song than it is to the rest of the disc. It’s a strong cut with a killer guitar riff that again calls to mind vintage Ozzy Osbourne quite a bit.
Your Gone
Alternating between a mellower, nearly ballad like motif and a harder edged chorus, this track is less metal and more alternative rock. It’s a great tune nonetheless.
Pour Me a Drink
Harder edged, this is a bit raw. It’s quite a heavy tune and a great rocker. I like it a lot. It’s also a nice change of pace, but perhaps it just feels so heavy because it comes after one of the mellowest numbers on show.
Fill the Void
Balladic motifs that remind me of Metallica open this and the cut gradually works up to more pure metal territory. Although, this gradual variation ends after the first verse when the track explodes out into metal fury. There is some killer riffing on this.
It's All About You
An acoustic motif opens this and then there’s a little giggle and they launch into another killer riff driven grind. The music here is more melodic and this is another that might be less metal and more hard rock. It’s quite compelling nonetheless. 
 
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