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Circle II Circle - "Consequence Of Power" (CD)

Circle II Circle - "Consequence Of Power" CD cover image

"Consequence Of Power" track listing:

1. Whispers In Vain (5:24)
2. Consequence Of Power (4:23)
3. Out Of Nowhere (4:09)
4. Remember (5:28)
5. Mirage (5:04)
6. Episodes Of Mania (5:07)
7. Redemption (5:29)
8. Take Back Yesterday (5:02)
9. Anathema (5:14)
10. Blood Of An Angel (5:07)

Reviewed by on December 11, 2010

"'…the guitar work by Andy Lee makes this an above average choice in the power metal genre, and a definite win for Circle II Circle.'"

When Savatage's Zak Stevens formed Circle II Circle, most of their music sounded like Savatage revisited. Nearly ten years and five albums later, Circle II Circle finally has released an album that sounds fresh and different. "Consequence Of Power" is a heavy dose of power metal mixed with some progressive and alternative rock, but the guitar work by Andy Lee makes this an above average choice in the power metal genre, and a definite win for Circle II Circle.

Stevens' vocals are up and down on the album, going from excellent on the melodic semi-ballad "Take Back Yesterday" to nothing special on the title track. The flat production sounds that have plagued Circle II Circle are still an issue, though thankfully the two assets of the band, namely the guitar and bass work, manage to find a way to rise out of the muck. The drums are mostly covered up, but the drum work isn't spectacular enough for you to really mind.

As for the bass, it shines in the idiosyncratic tune "Out Of Nowhere." The title seems apropos considering it seems out of place among the other basically power metal fare, but the rumbling bass line in the intro that segues into a grungy guitar riff makes for a good listen.

Mostly though, I can't say enough about Andy Lee's guitar work on "Consequence Of Power." Dropping down from two to one guitar usually leaves a hollow sound for a band, but Lee pulls off more stellar riffs than many dual guitar wielding bands. There's a definite "Welcome To The Jungle" feel to the title track, and a delve into Judas Priest territory in "Remember." And though "Episodes Of Mania" sounds mostly like an old track left off a Savatage album, the breakdown has some killer licks.

Overall, the album's pretty good, and certainly more than what you'd expect from Circle II Circle considering their past efforts. While Stevens may not have done much new since his Savatage days, the decision to hand over the strings to Lee was a good one.

Highs: Superb guitar work by Andy Lee.

Lows: Production is a bit muddy, and Stevens' vocals are hit and miss.

Bottom line: Circle II Circle has finally pulled off a great album that doesn't sound just like Savatage, mostly thanks to some impressive guitar work by Andy Lee.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)