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Review: Circle II Circle - Watching in Silence
Circle II Circle
Watching in Silence

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 45:53
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: July 19, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Watching in Silence

Rated 4.11/5 (82.22%) (18 Votes)

I was all set to love this. Circle II Circle are basically a side project by a bunch of the guys in Savatage: Jon Oliva, Chris Cafferey, and singer Zak Stevens. Now I am a big fan of Stevens’ awesome pipes, so any chance for him to stretch out and wail sounded good to me. So does this album deliver? Yes and no.

It should be no surprise this sounds a lot like Savatage, considering who’s in the lineup. With the epic arrangements, moody passages, and Zak’s soaring vocals, I wonder why they bothered making this a separate project. This is VERY much in the vein of "Dead Winter Dead" or "Wake of Magellan"-era 'Tage: The same kinds of vocal melodies, the same kinds of arrangements, the same type of lyrical themes. Overall I would have to say this is pretty bland. I love Zak’s voice, and he sounds awesome. The production is spot-on and the musicianship is top-notch, but the songwriting is not up to scratch. Too many of these lapse into midpaced plodding with vocal lines more appropriate to college rock than metal. There are some bright moments here, as on the hooky "Out of Reach" and the punchy "Watching in Silence" but overall, even the substandard "Dead Winter Dead" was better than this.

The copy of this I have is a promo<*promo nazi mode ON*>This is the gayest thing I have ever seen. Would it kill the label to send a real CD? Here we have the entire CD, but merged into one track with only the advance single "Watching in Silence" separate. The advertise that there is extra stuff on here for CD-ROM drives, but they also have a big warning on here that they aren’t responsible for crashes, drive failures or data loss – "Use at your own risk" it says. Well forget that. I know I sure as hell will not be putting this in my computer. Why would it kill them to just send us a regular CD in a slipcase like EVERYBODY ELSE? Even a CDR would be preferable to this crap. Word to labels: I get another CD like this, I ain’t gonna review it.<*Promo nazi mode OFF*> The cover is nice.

If you really dig the mellower bits on the last 4 Savatage CDs, you need to get this. If you are looking for something fresh and exciting, or aggressive, or are not a 'Tage fan in the slightest, you can skip it.

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