"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Circle II Circle - "Seasons Will Fall" (CD)

Circle II Circle - "Seasons Will Fall" CD cover image

"Seasons Will Fall" track listing:

1. Diamond Blade
2. Without a Sound
3. Killing Death
4. Epiphany
5. End Of Emotion
6. Dreams That Never Die
7. Seasons Will Fall
8. Never Gonna Stop
9. Isolation
10. Sweet Despair
11. Downshot
12. Only Yesterday

Reviewed by on February 6, 2014

"'Power metal fans with an ear for technical perfection will find plenty to love ..."

It is easy to be of two minds about Circle II Circle's "Seasons Will Fall. " On one hand, you've got Zak Stevens' powerful vocals and some superlative shredding by guitarists Bill Hudson and Christian David Wentz. On the other, there's the unimaginative songs that they're put to use in. This is Power/Prog Metal 101 stuff - not that that is entirely a bad thing.

Admirably, the band isn't afraid to put the metal in power metal, with tunes like the opener, "Diamond Blade," flirting with almost thrash-influenced riffs. That said, the lyrics -- like most of the album -- feel pretty weak, even though Stevens delivers them with conviction and style.

In general, it's. The heavier stuff, a la "Never Gonna Stop" and the Sabbath gallop "Isolation" that work the best. Granted, that marginalizes keyboardist Hemming Wanner a little, but the songs featuring more keyboards tend to trend toward balladry, which isn't this album's strong suit. The choice to end the disc with the treacly "Only Yesterday" wasn't a good one.

Production choices are generally good, though Paul Michael Stewart's bass could've been a little higher in the mix.

Power metal fans with an ear for technical perfection will find plenty to love on Circle II Circle's "Seasons Will Fall." Others may find it a bit over-polished and lacking grit in the songwriting area.

Highs: "Diamond Blade" and "Never Gonna Stop"

Lows: A lot of by-the-basics songwriting

Bottom line: The tunes are performed expertly, but the songwriting is a little lacking

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)