Circus Maximus - The 1st Chapter review


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Band: Circus Maximus
Album: The 1st Chapter
Release date: June 2005

01. Sin
02. Alive
03. Glory Of The Empire
04. Biosfear
05. Silence From Angels Above
06. Why Am I Here
07. The Prophecy
08. The 1st Chapter
09. Haunted Dreams [Europe bonus]
10. Imperial Destruction [USA bonus]

Circus Maximus is a progressive metal band formed by the Haugen brothers, who appear on guitar (Mats) and Drums (Trus), Mats' old school buddy Glen Moller on bass, Michael and the mastermind Espen Storo on keyboards. They're from Norway, who has given us great progressive bands like Ark and Pagan's Mind, for example.

Circus Maximus is a superb band with a large variety of influences such as 70's progressive rock, heavy metal and even death metal, all of which are melted to form a unique sound. This creates a mixture of great heavy riffs, consistent melodies with many modulations, and odd time signatures, a very characteristic detail of progressive music.

Michael's voice is outstanding, it reminds me of Nils K. Rue (Pagan's Mind), which is good and also of Frank Mendez (Zero Hour), especially in the first track. Its sound, as I mentioned above, is unique, even with DT influences. The musicianship is amazing, a superb mixture of hard-rock and classic rock with prog elements inspired by 70's prog greats.

This is Circus Maximus's first full length album, and what a good way to start! This album is very technical and very progressive. You can notice the great education of these musicians and the evolution of Norwegian prog metal. The album starts with the strong opener "Sin" which prepares us for a great album. "Alive" is an amazing song (my favorite of this album) and its intro reminds me of DT's "Caught in a Web." "Glory of the Empire" is this album's first epic and its intro is soft and beautiful. "Biosfear" is the instrumental song; here we can hear strong Dream Theater influences. The ballad of this album is the beautiful "Silence from Angel Above." "Why Am I Here" and "The Prophecy" are two good but not outstanding songs which are followed by de magnum-epic "The 1st Chapter" followed by the closer, another good song, "Haunted Dreams" (I have the European version).

This album is definitely recommended to all metal fans, not only for progressive fans but also to everyone else, I can ensure you will love this album. I haven't given a perfect rating to any album, just to Dream Theater's Images & Words.

Killing Songs: "Alive" (The best song of this album), "Glory of the Empire," "Biosfear" and "The 1st chapter."

Written by DreamWeaver | 16.10.2005


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 11   Visited by: 156 users
31.10.2006 - 22:01
The album does deserve the 9.9 or 10 rating or whatever since it is a masterpeice. But I wouldn't say that "Alive" is the best song of the album, I would say that "Alive" is the poppiest song of the album, and my least favorite pretty much. The instrumental song "Biosfear" would proabbly be my favorite track.
31.10.2006 - 22:21
This album is indeed a masterpiece - quite impressive for a debut. One of the best albums I've heard last year. Will be waiting for more great stuff from these guys.
18.11.2006 - 16:38
Amazing progressive album. Mixes the best of Dream Theater and makes it more accesible and more bombastic. Waiting for their next album.
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07.02.2007 - 22:44
Account deleted
Let's be honest, nothing's wrong with this album, but there is also Dream Theater everywhere. Listen to DT's Metropolis and then to Biosfear and you will know what I mean. From this point of you a 9.9 is far too high, I think 8.5 is more reasonable
08.02.2007 - 00:16
Well, the album itself deserves, from my point of view, a 9.9. The album is great, and it can be called a masterpiece. Yeah, as I said in my review the band was clearly tons of DT influences, but when I wrote my review, there was no such thing as tha list of originality, songwriting, etc. And actually, it does not matter if the album is a DT rip-off, the music per se its what deserves my rating.
21.08.2007 - 22:35
Awesome album. I just started to listen to it closely when their latest piece of work came out, and it is absolutely amazing. I particularly like Silence from Angels Above, awesome song. Really great work. Their new album isn't bad too, but I just can't get enough of this.
17.09.2007 - 17:41
Amazing album for a debut, no doubt about this being a masterpiece IMO! And, damn, the singer is not from this planet, what a voice!!!
26.03.2010 - 18:40
Raziel X
This album deserves at MOST an 8. It is an artisan-well executed product. It sounds good, but it just has waaaay too much DT + Symphony X + Evergrey overtones throughout to be called masterpiece. Masterpiece is not only a great product, it has to have at least a bit of sth special. This album is good but doesnt fully deserve all the odes sung at it.
21.04.2010 - 13:00
The Arkaholic
Sounds too.. unoriginal for a 9 or 10.. 8 would be fine.
16.08.2010 - 20:13
Another amazing album.
17.03.2011 - 21:10
Few bands can just come along and whack the listener straight in the lower body area like this one...incredible.

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