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Hellcircles: Stillness

Italy has become a bit of a hotbed for progressive and metal music in the past few years and it would appear that the flow of interesting and talented bands coming from there show no sign of slowing.

Hailing from Cremona, Hellcircles are a young power metal five piece who add a few progressive metal elements into their sound and their debut release Stillness is a five track demo that when you consider that the band only formed in November of 2008 is surprisingly impressive.

There's nothing particularly earth shattering about the approach that Hellcircles take, if you could imagine early Helloween jamming some classic Maiden with a more relaxed Dragonforce then you will get a pretty good idea of what is contained on Stillness. Marco Parisi puts in a great vocal performance, his clear crisp voice blends well with the music and although there is a trace of an accent in his delivery it actually adds to the charm in his voice. His twin guitar partners Roberto Fornaroli and Fabio Pedrali are no slouches either, whether it be with the crunching riff on "Let Us Unite" or blazing solo and guitar runs on "The Damage Done" both are impressive throughout.

The rhythm section of Danilo Arisi on bass and drummer Davide Ravara shine on the Accept like "Turn Back Time", Ravara's double kick drums blast through the riff and Arisi chips in with some intricate yet hard hitting work.

With the title track itself being a short atmospheric opener to the EP and "Rise Again" containing some deft time changes and more subtle colours than illustrated elsewhere ,Hellcircles already seem to understand that it takes more than a constant bludgeoning attack to create interesting memorable music and when you add to that some excellent vocal arrangements Stillness is a surprisingly mature and rounded release from a band that has spent such a short time together.

Hellcircles aren't the finished article yet, however the five tracks on Stillness are hard hitting enough to suggest that their full debut album which is scheduled for early 2010 could be very interesting indeed.

Track list:
1. Stillness
2. Let Us Unite
3. The Damage Done
4. Turn Back Time
5. Rise Again

Added: June 16th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 2343
Language: english

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Hellcircles: Stillness
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-06-16 13:59:25
My Score:

Italian band Hellcircles formed in November of 2008 and released their debut CD Stillness in 2009. The band's line-up includes Marco Parisi (vocals, keyboards), Roberto Fornaroli (guitar), Fabio Pedrali (guitar, vocals), Danilo Arisi (bass) and Davide Ravara (drums). The band plays a combination of speed, power, progressive and heavy metal styles. The songs are fast paced and filled with plenty of powerful, chugging riffs, scorching lead guitar work and rapid fire drumming. The first time I played Stillness it did not grab my attention but I have warmed up to the album on subsequent listens. The band's style sometimes reminded me of Stratovarius, and through all the heaviness I found these songs to be pretty melodic with catchy choruses and pounding riffs.

The title track begins the album with swishing wind-like sound effects, intense piano and a spoken word segment. Although it is a short song, under two minutes in length, it has a great atmosphere and leads directly into the scorching "Let Us Unite" with a big melodic chorus, double bass drums and lightning fast fretwork. Parisi has a good voice capable of belting out those high notes with his high pitched tenor although he does show some restraint on this one. The heavy metal of "Turn Back Time" features aggressive vocals with the odd death growl and the album ending "Rise Again" has a bit of atmosphere as the quick pace is slowed down to balladic style before the crunchy riffs take hold again.

Although no one song completely blew me away Stillness is a pretty good album and the band shows plenty of chops to satisfy the metal crowd. I look forward to hearing what the band can do with a full length release.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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