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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Circle II Circle

Delusions Of Grandeur

Review by Greg Olma

Zak Stevens has returned with a new disc that sees him experimenting a little with newer sounds.  I really liked his last CD Burden Of Truth but I'm glad he has decided to expand his music a little. Not that what he was putting out was bad or repetitive, I just like seeing an expansion of an artist's music.  Circle II Circle are always going to be metal but that genre has so many elements that you can explore many of them and make them your own.  Stevens and the guys have stayed true to what they do best but they have added things to keep this release fresh.  The band have done themselves justice with Delusions Of Grandeur because they have left their winning formular intact for us hardcore fans but they have added a few new things that will hopefully get them some new fans.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Fatal Warning
The CD opens with some tuned-down guitars and some really fast power metal drumming.  The main part of the song is classic Circle II Circle but they have added those two elements that are new to the mix.
Dead Of Dawn
Like the previous tune, we get more power metal on the chorus.  This is another example of Stevens and the guys expanding thier sound with a few new elements.  Older fans will still like the music because, for the most part, this is their classic sound, it is just up-dated a little.
Forever
This cut is where you get the traditional Circle II Circle sound.  It is a catchy metal tune that has all the classic parts from their older material.
Echoes
Piano (and Zak Stevens' vocals) are the focus of this ballad.  Circle II Circle ballads are still pretty heavy tunes and as this song shows, you can be softer yet powerful at the same time.
Waiting
Metal makes a return to this fast rocker.  Stevens shines again with his vocal performance on this Savatage-ish tune.  Although Circle II Circle have been moving away from the Savatage sound, Stevens vocals bring that element of history back into the music.
Soul Breaker
Just like a sister song to "Waiting," this track is similar but still has unique parts.  "Soul Breaker" is a little heavier but still retains that melodic metal crunch.
Seclusion
This cut starts out like a ballad but kicks into a nice metal track as it progresses.  Like all the material here, "Seclusion" has a melody and a groove that makes you want to hear it over and over again.
So Many Reasons
Here is another straight ahead metal tune.  It's a good track but there is stronger material on Delusions Of Grandeur.
Chase The Lies
This tune has a little more modern vibe that has Circle Ii Circle expanding their sound.  It's a good solid rocker with a catchy chorus.  Stevens has a knack for being able to sing lyrics in a very catchy way that really makes them stick in your head. 
Every Last Thing
Piano starts off this ballad that has it's heavy moments.  I like this cut because it has all the great elements that Circle II Circle bring to the table; strong vocals, melody, and solid guitar riffing.  This is one of the stronger tracks on Delusions Of Grandeur and a great tune to end the CD on.
 
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