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Circle II Circle: Full Circle - The Best of

With five full-length albums and a number of EPs, Circle II Circle's first compilation album, Full Circle, aptly chronicles the band's career. Though I've never been fond of compilation discs (unless the release features exclusive liner notes or new material), I feel best-of albums serve the purpose of introducing a band's general sound to those that are not acquainted with them as well as presenting a couple of extras. The second disc of this release contains the single version of "Every Last Thing," an acoustic version of and "Into the Wind," live versions of "Watching in Silence" and "Evermore" as well another acoustic version of "Burden of Truth." Without doubt, it's great to hear these songs, especially the two title tracks, in their new stripped-down format emphasizing Zak Stevens' amazing vocals. The rest of the tunes are selected from their catalog and do a good job of representing the past and current Circle II Circle sound. I still gravitate towards the band's earlier body of work, particularly their debut album and Burden of Truth, which were marked by a more noticeable progressive slant with complex arrangements, multi-tracked vocal harmonies and longer songs. The band's last two albums find them in a more straightforward style with heavier focus placed on crunchy guitar work, a solid low end, and pummelling drum work. Depending on your preference and some of the songs offered on this compilation, make your choice. At the very least, you'll have the chance to hear one of the greatest voices in metal.

Track Listing

Disc 1

  1. All That Remains
  2. Who Am I to Be
  3. Consequence of Power
  4. Watching In Silence
  5. Dead of Dawn
  6. Into the Wind
  7. In This Life
  8. Out of Nowhere
  9. Revelations
  10. Blood of an Angel
  11. Heal You
  12. Open Seasons
  13. Echoes
  14. Out of Reach
  15. Forgiven
  16. Redemption

Disc 2

  1. Every Last Thing (Edit)
  2. The Circle
  3. Sentenced
  4. Take Back Yesterday
  5. The Middle of Nowhere
  6. Soul Breaker
  7. Darkness Rising
  8. Into the Wind (Acoustic)
  9. Shadows
  10. Symptoms of Fate
  11. Stay
  12. Watching in Silence (Live)
  13. Burden of Truth (Acoustically Enhanced)
  14. Against the World
  15. Evermore (Live) 03:05
  16. Strungout

Added: November 16th 2012
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Circle II Circle Facebook
Hits: 2101
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Circle II Circle: Full Circle - The Best of
Posted by Wardy on 2012-11-21 04:23:40
My Score:

Overall this is a decent release, but where Full Circle might lose a couple marks is the lack of information we might normally receive. You know, the kinda backstory on the band which here could have been informative for new ears considering the healthy history of Mr Stevens' Savatage tenure. Otherwise the question is whether the selected songs are a fair reflection on previous studio releases, and here they most certainly are! While not getting into each song selection suffice to say there's a good smattering of each album thus far. Although it's difficult to comprehend how anyone remotely interested in this band could choose this collection over such greats such as the tremendous Burden Of Truth (personal fave) or the (rightly so) fan fave that was Watching In Silence or the thunder of Delusions Of Grandeur, to be fair anyone not yet aware of Circle II Circle could do worse than to select this fine collection of tunes from one of the best hardrock/metal acts of the present day (you read that right). CIIC manage to draw from everything that was great in metal history and take it forward without loss of integrity and quality. Agree the bonus material is lacking in quantity but not on quality, and considering Murat Batmaz has (quite accurately too I might add), reviewed the CIIC studio albums elsewhere here, I would recommend reading and using his reviews to navigate each the studio albums independently first. But this Best Of is a decent enough place to start for anyone just wanting to explore and instead looking for a quick overview. And for that reason I would be more inclined to rate this slightly higher, for a double disc release this is one of the better collections out there. The fact this is CIIC is worth your coin alone ;)

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