Circle II Circle, Delusions Of Grandeur, 2008
First thing is the much more heavy sound of the guitars as album opener Fatal Warning so aptly demonstrates. And keyboards going largely missing in the process. Of course the recognizable voice of Stevens is still present. And also more up tempo songs with a pretty menacing and fierce wall of sound to back them up.
Track Echoes breathes some similarities to his past band because of the piano. But here also the guitars claim a big part of the sound. Great guitar solo by the way. And not the only one I might add. Final track Every Last Thing would have fitted on any Stevens fronted Savatage record without problems. Ah yes, the vocal harmonies we all know and love!
So if memory serves me right this album is a lot heavier than the previous one I posted about. With a lot less reference to Savatage. I think this is a good development, because they needed to create an identity of their own in my opinion. Alas sound wise this could do with more variation. Maybe it is deliberate, making it more of a metal, and less of a progressive album. Repeated play will tell how they fare with this policy. Stevens has a voice type that I like very much, so listening still is a pleasure. It is a heavy and ass kicking release, so many will enjoy it with fists swaying and heads banging.
Personal play tips: Forever, Echoes, So Many Reasons.