Five years after the release of their second effort ‘‘Isolate’’, Circus Maximus has finally come back with a new album underarm that’s called ‘‘Nine’’.
Last year Micheal Eriksen told us in an interview with PerfectProg that this album would have a total different sound… How will it be? There’s just one way to know it
How will it be? That’s exactly what makes you wonder the first track ‘‘Forging’’, a mysterious intro that works as a curtain for the Nine’s show.
When the curtain falls the ‘‘Architect of Fortune’’ arrives with a sound that would be perfect to open fires on live shows. It start with the heavier sound (even with a short flirtation with Djent) of the band but subtly gives way to a really well done melodic sound, especially on the chorus, and a great second verse where I cannot avoid to remember the best time of Queensrÿche.
Just when your ears are filled with that beautiful harmony of the old Circus Maximus side, the band says ‘‘Namaste’’, with a heavy and straightforward track that brings back the sound of Isolate through chunky riffs and a sticky chorus.
‘‘Game Of Life’’ is an interesting track that starts with some reminiscences of Dream Theater but quickly begins to create its own identity through Michael’s phrasing that seems to lead the whole sound motion until a powerful guitar solo emerges, to finally return to the melodic sound.
Another light and melodic track comes with ‘‘Reach Within’’, a really easy-to-listen-to song that has that vibe almost pop that could easily make it a radial single.
Something similar happens with ‘‘I Am’’. The song continues with the melodic sound and that pop radial vibe but also brings back some more progressive elements to the ears that end enriching the track, but just like the previous track still it’s a little lazy.
Just when you start to miss more progressive and heaviness, it seems like the band can hear your thoughts and ‘‘Used’’ starts to sound carrying with it the best musical arguments of the band. It’s simply a great and brilliant song that makes you say… Woow!
Following the path of the last song ‘‘The One’’ arrives. This time the song includes more melodic elements but genuinely, making the song a totally perfect sound amalgam. There’s no doubt that this is another highlight of the album.
After these two songs, you could possibly think that nothing better can come, and the band once again seems to hear your thoughts but this time is to prove that you’re wrong. ‘‘Burned After Reading’’ it’s an epic song full of creativity and talent, it’s an awesome piece of art that deserves to be listened rather than read.
The final track is ‘‘Last Goodbye’’, which catches perfectly the farewell-sound for an ending song with a high musical level that has every element of the album with very well done progressive lines and melodic harmonies, so obviously it’s a great track and the perfect track to close the show.
Definitely, Michael did not lie at all in our interview. This Nine is neither the return of The 1st Chapter nor the continuation of Isolate, it’s the best of both but renewed and loaded with a fresh sound, directed to please everyone, those who enjoy the most progressive side (with the second half of the album) and those who likes the melodic side of the band (with the first half) and obviously those who likes both sides, but also it is directed to reach new and more ears, and I think they are gonna make it.
- Architect of Fortune
- Game of Life
- Reach Within
- Let it Rain
- I Am
- The One
- Burned After Reading
- Last Goodbye
By Joan López Duarte
When I got the chance to talk about this album and to interview Alberto Rigoni I was really thrilled. First because I consider him a great name of Bass in the entire prog scenario and second because his first two solo records were quite interesting.
This time Alberto Rigoni, sided by the intriguing voice of Irene Ermoli, managed to surprise us all. Groovy in an incredible mix of styles and even if there’s little room for the classic prog style I may add that this mix is what makes Groovy a special CD.
On this album we will find also other instruments but Bass is clearly the main one (see interview attached) and even if I am not a Bass player I could see/listen that this instrument was explored in all of its features.
Off course I have some favorite tracks that I put on my CD player every time I have the chance. Eclectic (see video link below), BASSex v2 (which I really loved since the first version released on his first album – I find it very catchy) and Let me try are one step above in my opinion. By the way, you may find this album free on their website which is another advantage on this times of economic crisis (Great music legally free). When I asked Alberto why they choose to release it freely I’ve got the most incredible answer: They want people to enjoy and discover their music.
An overall vote is 8/10 and I am quite sure that there’s still space for further improvement and will be waiting for new releases of Lady and the Bass. For now, enjoy the very pleasant interview Alberto Rigoni kindly gave me.
Eclectic (music and lyrics by Alberto Rigoni)
Soaring (music by Alberto Rigoni, lyrics by Irene Ermolli)
A New Life(music by Alberto Rigoni and lyrics by Irene Ermolli)
BASSex v2 (music and lyrics by Alberto Rigoni)
Let Me try (music and lyrics by Alberto Rigoni)
Paradise (music by Alberto Rigoni and lyrics by Irene Ermolli)
Slave (music by Federico Solazzo and lyrics by Alberto Rigoni)
– Reviewed by Logan Lee
In this time of economic crisis we find less time to enjoy ourselves and dedicate to listening to good music but this guys from Texas managed to capture my attention. Luckily enough I’ve got the chance hear the album preview but I have chosen to publish this review today, together with the album’s release.
Juggernaut is a very complex and strong piece of prog and heavy metal combined inside a 9 track album that is really something to discover.
Hearing it carefully I could match some real interesting similarities since from the beginning. One day I would like to ask them directly what they think about this, but I heard the style of some of my favorites (but unusual) bands: a bit of Sentenced and a lot of Freak Kitchen and yet they have created a style of their own.
With that in mind: Juggernaut is ATH’s third long length album after their first album “Forever and a day (1998)” and “Entropy” (2004) and for what I could hear, this album represents several steps forwards on this guys’ musical path. Even though it is filled with great music arrangements Juggernaut did not seem to me a hard album to listen and write about. All tracks are very interesting and you do not need to focus on the entire album at once, which is another reason why I have chosen to postpone my review but also a good thing since I have listened to all tracks separately at least 5 times before start writing and I can assure you all that all tracks are very catchy.
About the tracks: my favorite among them is Thorn on my Side (which was also released as a single on 2011) where we can find how versatile is Gordon Tittsworth voice which is another great add-on on Juggernaut. This is the first All Too Human album with him and I think that his voice and style match perfectly with the musicians features. The album opens and encloses with two other great songs, Juggernaut and Catharsis: the first one is more powerful and gives us a preview of what we are about to listen while the Catharsis is more chaotic track (in my opinion) witch might be a preview of what we should aspect on their next album (more experimentation?).
In the meanwhile, enjoy this recent release as soon as possible and my vote is 8/10 because this guys have an incredible potential to keep on this road. Really hope to know more about them and I will keep checking their website to know their tour dates.
3- Thorn In My Side
5- Cut Me
6- Never Enough
Gordon Tittsworth – Lead Vocal
Clint Wilson – Lead Guitar & Keyboards
Chris Lucci – Drums & Percussion
Maurice Taylor – Bass Guitar
Review by Logan Lee
Ok, let´s talk about this years Progpower USA VII. This excellent prog metal festival based in Atlanta, Georgia, will feature great bands. So far, the list includes:
Evergrey, Mercenary, Freak Kitchen, Savage Circus, Pyramaze, Jorn, Epica, Thunderstone, Vision Divine and Wastefall. All those of you going to the Festival, can expect an incredible show!.
The Pre-party will also be amazing!, we have read from the official Progpower USA VII, that a band from Athens, Geogia called Theocracy, a melodic, power metal band, will be performing live at the show!, also Circus Maximus, Norwegian based progressive metal band, will play live. That’s great news, because last year we had the opportunity to see them and we have to say that they f….. ruled!!!, one of the best performances I ever seen, so a splendid time is guaranteed.
Another band called Leatherwolf - the rejuvenated California metal legends are kicking their comeback intro high gear with a brand new album, due out in May, will also play at the pre-party.
Circle II Circle, a band that played ProgPower USA IV, will return to Atlanta. So, I think we can all expect a hell of a show!!.
Tickets went out on sale on April 1st. Only 900 tickets were made available; according to the official site, as of the 7th of April, only 99 tickets remained, so, we don’t know for sure if there are any more available as of today!!.
Progpower USA VII, like previous years, will be an incredible experience!, only the best of the best get to perform there!, however, one thing we didn’t like about this year Progpower USA VII, are the strict rules established. I was very pissed when I found out that the organizers are not going to allow not just any kind of digital photography. According to the official web page, there will be a one time $10 fee charged at the door. You will be given a bracelet after your camera has been inspected. This bracelet verifies to security that your camera is ok. At this point, it sounds ok, $10 dollars is a fair price to use a digital camera on such an amazing event…. But wait, that’s not all…. You will go through a separate line for digital camera inspection, a list of banned cameras will be made available in the "event details" section one month prior to the festival. If your camera has the option to video over 30 seconds of video, it is banned. If you are caught using your camera for just those 30 seconds of video, you will still be escorted from the venue and not allowed to return. What????????, what the hell!?? This really sucks! And it’s a really stupid thing!! Almost all of today digital cameras have the option to record digital video!, and almost all cameras have the option to record more than 30 seconds of videos!, hell, almost all cell phones have that option…. The question is…. What’s going to happen to people who have cell phones with cameras? Are they going to ban those to?. What is this? And what about if I want to take a picture and to get it right on focus, more than 30 seconds pass… Will I be a suspect of recording video and will be escorted out?.
We understand that there are some copyright laws, but taking a picture or a small video doesn’t hurt anyone or any band, on the contrary, its free publicity. I mean I haven’t seen anywhere a bootleg video of Progpower. We are not talking about Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera!
“No backpacks will be allowed this year, only small camera cases”. WHAT???????????. What about all those who are not from Atlanta? What about those who want to take an extra set of clothes or want to carry personal belongings o some lunch?, come on you guys!
“Flash (regular film) photography is free and you can go through the main line for regular inspection”. Mmmm… I don’t think any person today uses that kind of cameras, well I don’t, I threw mine from the window a couple of years ago, simply because regular film sucks, and almost everyone prefers digital cameras. Additional paid spies in the audience. That really sucks, that is gonna make a lot of people feel very uncomfortable, I mean, you will be looked upon as a suspect of every move you make!
“No Moshing. Period”. What in the #”$&$#””!!/&(=?? I almost had a heart attack!. No moshing? I been attending to rock concerts every since I was 16 and never encountered a rule like this. The organizers claim it’s for security reasons and to avoid lawsuits. I think if some guys want to join the mosh pit, it’s their own decision, and if they break a foot or an arm, that’s their fault and no one else to blame.
ProgPower is an excellent event, one of the best in the world, don’t let rules like encourage metal fans to look somewhere else or even worse, discourage them to attend Progpower.
Well, that’s our opinion!!
Keep the metal scene alive!!
Hi there guys. Here am I, sick, at home and alone but I could not have chosen a better companions than Steven Wilson’s latest solo album and a new review for the perfectprog community.
Grace for Downing was released last year around September and it is double CD (there’s also the Deluxe Edition with a third bonus CD but I haven’t got the chance to find it): The first part is called Deform to form a star and contains the title track, and the second part is called Like dust I have cleared from my eye and contains the truly amazing 23 minutes long track Raider II which might be consider the main track of the entire album since it has a prelude on part I and because it concentrates on itself almost all elements of this masterpiece.
Nevertheless, I have to say that in order to fully comprehend Steven Wilson’s message through music, arrangements and a full list of emotional sensations you HAVE to listen to it all – track after track – with concentration (at least the first time). Before I started to work on this album many of my colleagues and friends told me that Grace for Downing was a good CD but not more than that. Well, I did not believe them (maybe because at this time I have learn to understand Steven Wilson’s intentions) and dedicated a full immersion hearing session. Do you want to know the result? Let’s just say I was happy not to believe those friends and after that I have also managed to convince them (a few were reluctant) that this was not only a good album.
As you might see on the personnel session on this review, Grace for Downing can count on many famous musicians (Jordan Rudess for instance) and on many new talents. The Clarinet and Flute’s passage are marvelous not to mention the Sax parts.
Well guys, that’s a must have we are talking about here. All that a progressive album should give us is findable on Grace for Downing (experimentation, arrangements, insertion of non-conventional instruments, good lyrics, emotion through music, etc) and off course my vote for it is a perfect 10/10.
I am not going to stop here on this work, since I will the chance to see Steven Wilson live here in Europe around May. I am trying to contact him and his staff for an interview but if that will not be possible I will be writing about his performance the next day. So stay tuned on perfectprog.com for news. Bye and enjoy.
Disc 1: Deform to Form a Star
No. Title Length
1. "Grace for Drowning" 2:06
2. "Sectarian" 7:41
3. "Deform to Form a Star" 7:51
4. "No Part of Me" 5:45
6. "Raider Prelude" 2:23
7. "Remainder the Black Dog" 9:27
Disc 2: Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye
No. Title Length
1. "Belle de Jour" 2:59
2. "Index" 4:49
3. "Track One" 4:16
4. "Raider II" 23:21
5. "Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye" 8:01
• Piano - Steven Wilson, Jordan Rudess
• Electric guitar - Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett, Mike Outram
• Acoustic guitar - Sand Snowman
• Bass guitar - Steven Wilson, Tony Levin, Nick Beggs, Trey Gunn
• U8 touch guitar - Markus Reuter
• Drums - Nic France, Pat Mastelotto
• Warr Guitar - Trey Gunn • Soprano Saxophone, Saxophone - Theo Travis
• Clarinet - Theo Travis, Ben Castle
• Stick - Nick Beggs, Tony Levin
• Strings - London Session Orchestra, Dave Stewart
• Flute - Theo Travis
• Keys, autoharp, harmonium, percussion – Steven Wilson
review by logan lee