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Circle II Circle - "Watching In Silence"
AMF Records 2003

Zak Stevens, former Savatage vocalist, formed his new band Circle II Circle, a power metal band of traditional American flavor. Savatage guys Chris Caffery and Jon Oliva helped him in his new transition back into music bussines and in making this record possible. Those three fellows composed and also played together some stuff on "Watching In Silence". And the result is?

Well some of bridges in opener Out Of Reach are Savatage fashioned and this is no surprise if you have Jon and Chris to compose for you. A little faster The Circle contains phenomenal Caffery's solo inside song's middle section. The strongest and thus very expressive sad thing that really penetrates under the skin is surely Into The Wind chorus, while songs like Watching In Silence, Forgiven, Walls, or epically driven closing track F.O.S. (Fields Of Sorrow) ... are somehow completely driven in Savatage's musical directions. Oliva also helped with production and there is no doubt that record's sound captured a real high atmosphere through entire record. Lead by Zak's phenomenal singing this effort kicks really high. Album is consisting mainly from mid-tempo songs, dressed in massive riffing sound wall that accompanied with keyboard arrangements (a lot of grand piano dashing) builds high ambient climax, very familiar to Savatage's (a lot of riffs are "let it ring" or opened, and their sound in production is as intensive and straight forwarded as possible). Fluidly composed bridges, that tastefully glues together main themes shine overall sad and slightly obscure feel. Boys put also some nice harmonized twin guitar adventures, to spice up things and to bring some more dynamics into record.

Circle II Circle is a band that will make happy all who adores Zak's unique voice and his strong vocal performance. Musically band delivers nothing special, so if you are acknowledged with what Savatage are doing, than you would not miss anything special if you let Circle II Circle to pass your ears. I mean, they are musically strong and good performers, and if you are mad about Savatage, you won't think twice to put "Watching In Silence" inside your CD collection. But I must bitterly admit that Circle II Circle is Savatage's younger twin brother and you'll find very hard something in Circle II Circle that would sound different, new, unique and fresh.

Author:   Aleš

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