Closing The Circle
Released: 2016, Massacre Records
CLOSING THE CIRCLE is the bands fourth album but it is my second time hearing them and our first review of the band for Metal-Rules. This German band started out way back in the day as more of a Death/Thrash band but over time evolved into a more purely progressive Power Metal band. Over time they have been climbing the ladder, starting as an indie, moving to Mausoleum Records and now finally signed with Massacre Records.
My first impression is this is a very elegant and classy Melodic, progressive Metal album. Right away I placed the band among the bands like Evergrey, Kamelot, and Circle II Circle rather than the Dream Theater stream of Prog. CLOSING THE CIRCLE has a bit of a science, but not quite science-fiction, thrust to the lyrics. Songs like’ Genetic Healing’, Crimson Poison’ and ‘Chemical Healing’ have a sense of modernity and the powerful, mid-range delivery of new vocalist, Deigo Valdez. Last album the band had no true vocalist, the duty was split between Robin Beck, Mats Leven (Malmsteen), Carsten Kaiser (Angel Dust) and Michael Bormann (Bloodbound). Now it is more of a consistent band effort and although he has big shoes to fill, Valdez has a perfect voice for this type of Metal; power, range and grit.
The tone, tempo and production are all comfortably in the pocket; meaning, not too high, not too frantic, not too loud, not too fast, just solid metal and above-par individual performances. There are occasional bursts of speed as there are occasional tender quiet moments with some acoustic piano. The song structures are not too elaborate but they do get into more advanced song-writing territory near the end of the album with ‘Entering The Universe’ running almost 10 minutes and ‘Between Parallel Worlds’ running almost 11 minutes. These songs stretch out more with orchestration, acoustic passages and more longer instrumental passages and overall more of a soundtrack feel.
This is very expertly crafted constructed and performed Progressive Power Metal. It’s shame that bands like Assignment can at times get more overshadowed by bands that are freakier, faster, more elaborate, or any number of other superficial features, but if you are one of those, dare I say, nerdy guys (like me) who likes top-quality Metal based on musicianship and quality songs, clean vocals, mature lyrics, all delivered without getting too over-the-top, then CLOSING THE CIRCLE is worth your time to investigate.