Released: 2007, Frontiers Records/Zink Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
This Norwegian act is about to unleash their second album, titled ISOLATE. Finbroten has been added to the lineup on keyboards. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the band’s debut, and to be honest I didn’t have high expectations for this album, but the more I listen to it I find myself - if not totally loving it - at least appreciating it.
Just as on their debut, the music is still progressive and technical melodic metal. The problems I though the singer had with the high notes on the debut have been corrected and now I’m listening to a singer that sounds decent; the same goes for the entire album. If I thought the previous album was just an attempt for the members to show off their skills, this new album sounds more like an actual band having fun together. The instrumental parts are still here, but they managed to incorporate them into the album in a more professional way than before.
The 9 songs on the album feel more mature and it sounds like the band put in a hell of a lot more work, heart and soul into the material this time. The band produced the album and Tommy Hansen mixed it; they both feel solid and I can’t find any errors in the progressive soundscape. The focus is set on lead vocals and guitar, but every member has their moment to shine.
ISOLATE shows a more grown-up and mature Circus Maximus that actually has fun making music and if they continue this progression I think they can be the next biggest musical export from Norway. All fans of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Pretty Maids and TNT have a new band to check out.
Killer tracks are “A Darkened Mind”, “Abyss”, “Wither”, “Arrival Of Love”, “Zero” and “From Childhoods Hour”.