Circus Maximus - Isolate review
|Release date:||August 2007|
01. A Darkened Mind
04. Sane No More
05. Arrival Of Love
07. Mouth Of Madness
08. From Childhood's Hour
09. Ultimate Sacrifice
It takes something special to release one album and be noticed on a larger scale. But to follow it up with an equally acclaimed second effort without becoming drab is a plateau hardly reached by a younger band. After their debut "The First Chapters" was met with a lot of positive criticism throughout the prog-metal world, Circus Maximus presented their sophomore effort, "Isolate".
From start to finish "Isolate" has a lot to offer. Some tracks have that bonafied prog/power feel and variety to them, while others hold an obvious nod to the earlier forms of progressive metal. The constant change of momentum throughout the album keeps it from becoming monotonous and dry. Given the time and effort put into the songwriting it's easy to notice before the first verse of "A Darkened Mind" that these guys have a lot of talent, and aren't afraid to push the envelope.
The most important thing to mention would be the maturity Circus Maximus' sound has gone through between their first release and "Isolate". Overall, it's become more balanced and rich all while Michael Eriksen's voice gives off a noticable fullness that he lacked on their first release. It should go without mentioning that every member of Circus Maximus has a truckload of talent and imagination, but taking that and successfully putting ideas to sound without making it generic is something far more rare. Not one verse, chorus, bridge, intro/outro seems fake. Talent aside, "Isolate" still has a lot to offer.
The first song throws you head-first into a well organized tracklist that suffers from absolutely no low points or boring sections. No song seems dragged out or sluggish, yet there's no lack of variety either. To be more specific, the beautifully composed "Mouth of Madness", which happens to be over twelve minutes long, is a rollercoaster ride of emotion that never gets repetitive.
Otherwise, every other song on the CD is strong in it's own way. Along with the solidity of the album as a whole, the feeling changes several times which keeps a fresh feeling throughout, and also raises the replay value significantly.
All said and done, this has to be one of the top 10 best prog/power releases of 2007. The production could suffer a bit more perfection (especially the tone of the snare and bass drum), but aside from that there's nothing else to complain about. The cover art is interesting, although somewhat bland, yet it portrays a lot about the undertone of every song in a different way. If you're a fan of anything progressive I highly suggest buying this album. Circus Maximus is not a band to be taken lightly, and should be considered a threat to all the lackluster prog/power bands that are also trying to make it big.
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| Raziel X
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