Circle II Circle - Watching In Silence
AFM Records
Progressive Power Metal
10 songs (45'54)
Release year: 2003
Circle II Circle, AFM Records
Reviewed by Ben

To me the annual Prog Power festival in Atlanta, Georgia is a great life changing experience with many bands of the highest caliber and a chance to find out about new bands that I will most likely enjoy. Last year after I decided that I was going I researched the bands that I didn’t know about such as Threshold, Zero Hour, Reading Zero, and Pain of Salvation. With Zero Hour, Threshold, and Reading Zero I discovered great new bands that I otherwise would have passed up. Now what does that little anecdote have to do with this Circle II Circle review? Well I’m getting to that. This year when the lineup was announced I made it a mental note to check out the bands I was unfamiliar with and Circle II Circle was one of them. Unlike a lot of people I didn’t jump up and down with joy when I found out that this was Zak Stevens’ new band, cos as blasphemous as it might sound Savatage never really blew my skirt up. With all the hype surrounding this band I was a little stoked, I was more ready to believe they’d be pretty cool cos they were gonna be at Prog Power as opposed to the hype cos well, I don’t really buy into press releases that much, I prefer to make my own decisions.

When I first got Watching In Silence I wasn’t blown away but I did like it quite a bit. There aren’t too many tracks here that jump out at you from the stereo and yell “LISTEN TO ME FOR I OWN!!!” but the songs that really caught my attention on the first listen were Out of Reach with its layered vocals and "longing" sound in Zak's vocal inflection with the way he sings, and Into the Wind with its driving chorus, they had a big impact on me from the get go. A big reason this might have been is because only three out of the ten songs on here start off with a heavy intro, the rest are more build up type songs that start you off with a nice atmosphere before busting out with their goods. Into the Wind is the best song on here because of its glorious chorus that makes you just look up and take notice immediately. After the second time around, the chorus is followed by the best guitar riff on the album that sounds exciting and fresh and fits the song like a glove. The style of this band is also pretty evident from the opener as well, I can’t quite put my finger on it but since they are playing at Prog Power I shall just use that as my classification on the style, Progressive Power Metal, and not Power in the Helloween sense, but Power as in the music is quite powerful, with progressive elements and tinges to it.

Anyways, after my initial listening I noticed that there were some good things in here that I liked so I kept Watching in Silence in a pretty regular rotation in my stereo and it grew on me quite a bit. I began to take notice of some more killing songs such as the title track with its old school sound, The Circle, and Forgiven which is a pretty keen ballad. While I began to appreciate those songs more I also noticed that some of the stuff on here didn’t grow on me, at all. Lies is just too convoluted to be enjoyable to me from the guitar tone in the intro to the weak chorus, although it does have a nice guitar solo and breakdown moment after that. So to sum it up, this is a very good album with only a couple of not so great tracks with a very mature sound to it. I didn’t mean for that to sound like “Only real music fans can appreciate the complexities and intricacies of Progressive music because unless you have a degree from Berklee then it will just go over your Helloween loving head,” like I have heard from some Progressive fans in the past, but mature in the sense that there is a sense of reflection and introspective thought found on here that some bands don’t have today. I personally have enjoyed Watching In Silence and I am looking forward to seeing them at Prog Power IV and they had better play Into the Wind. Oh, by the way, there are some multimedia files included as well, an interview with Zak, and a live music video for the title track Watching In Silence that are well worth seeing. I just thought I’d include this in the review seeing as there are no tell tale signs of multimedia content on the cd sleeve.

Killing Songs :
Out of Reach, Into the Wind, and Watching In Silence
Ben quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Circle II Circle that we have reviewed:
Circle II Circle - Delusions Of Grandeur reviewed by Marty and quoted 86 / 100
Circle II Circle - Burden Of Truth reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 87 / 100
Circle II Circle - The Middle Of Nowhere reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
5 readers voted
Your quote was: 85.
Change your vote

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!