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Circle II Circle: Reign of Darkness

Zak Stevens and his post-Savatage act Circle II Circle have been pumping out excellent progressive/power metal now for close to 15 years, firmly in the spirit of his former band (who technically are not dead, but dormant), and on the heels of the Savatage/Trans Siberian Orchestra performance at this years Wacken Festival in Germany, the brand new CIIC album Reign of Darkness is being unleashed via earMusic. Currently in the band are Stevens (vocals), Mitch Stewart (bass), Christian Wentz (guitars), Bill Hudson (guitars), Henning Wanner (keyboards), and Marcelo Moreira (drums).

If you love past efforts such as Seasons Will Fall, Consequence of Power, Watching in Silence, Burden of Truth, or Savatage classics like The Wake of Magellan, Dead Winter Dead, and Handful of Rain, chances are Reign of Darkness will certainly resonate quite instantly with you. Immediately accessible and familiar, tunes like "Untold Dreams" and "Victim of the Night" contain all the CIIC elements we'e grown to love over the years, with Stevens soaring over crunchy riffs, pounding rhythms, majestic keyboards, and irresistible melodies. Instrumental opener "Over-Underture" could have easily come off of any '90s Savatage album, and "It's All Over" is classic, pedal to the floor power metal with the rhythm section working overtime and loads of tumultuous riffing. "One More Day" harkens back to Tony Martin era-Black Sabbath, and the excellent "Ghost of the Devil" is classic heavy metal at its very best, complete with some shredding guitar solos and of course Zak's amazing vocal delivery. If you like the more atmosphere, dark & melancholy side to the band, there's "Somewhere", enriched with some haunting keys and thunderous riffs, as well as the Savatage influenced ballad "Solitary Rain". Otherwise crushing mashers such as "Deep Within", "Sinister Love", or the complex "Taken Away" provide for some of the albums heaviest moments, and further proof that this band can rock out with the best of them.

While it's a bit early to proclaim that the band's 7th album ranks up near the top of their best efforts, if it's not it's pretty damn close. Reign of Darkness contains all the magical elements this band usually bring to the table, and if we never get any music out of Savatage again, at least Circle II Circle are still around keeping the spirit alive. Highly recommended!

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1) Over-Underture
2) Victim of the Night
3) Untold Dreams
4) It's All Over
5) One More Day
6) Ghost of the Devil
7) Somwhere
8) Deep Within
9) Taken Away
10) Sinister Love
11) Solitary Rain

Added: November 15th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2556
Language: english

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