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Circle of Silence: The Blackened Halo

Power metal from Europes is often upbeat, melodic and, frankly, cheesy. Circle of Silence is a power metal band from Germany, and thus one might expect The Blackened Halo, which was released in April, to be a cheesefest. Well, those expectations will not be met, because this is power metal that kicks butt! It is melodic, and there is an epic touch to it, but it is happily cheesefree, and this is because, in stead of smearing their music in epic synth effect, they draw quite a bit on thrash/speed metal.

In terms of riffage, this album is quite well balance, and you will find thrash metal, speed metal, groove metal and, of course, power metal elements and there are even some melodeath influences, too. One of the nice things about power metal (be it Euro power metal or US power metal) is the use of epic and catchy guitar harmonies, and there are plenty of those on The Blackened Halo. Another of my favorite power metal element that appears on this album is the catchy and epic chorus melodies. Sometimes such choruses can come across as being a bit cheesy, but vocalist Nick Kaim's rough voice adds a dimension of rock 'n' roll attitude which keeps any potential cheesiness at bay.

The Blackened Halo is a rock solid collection of metal tunes which may not be as big and pompous as other releases European power metal acts. Perhaps some fans of power metal will miss this aspect (although, as mentioned, there is a slight epic feel to the music), but I really like how Circle of Silence chose to emphasize power and energy on this release. In a way, they put the power back in power metal.

1. Synthetic Sleep
2. Left to Die
3. Exception
4. 21 Grams
5. The Blackened Halo
6. Take your Life
7. Never Forget
8. Reflections
9. Redesign
10. The End
11. Until the Worlds Collide

Added: August 3rd 2011
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: Circle of Silence official website
Hits: 2271
Language: english

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