Released: 2012, AFM
Early in the year can be a bit of a slower time for releases and I’m going to take the time to get through a bit of a backlog of five releases that in my estimation are not quite as important, but still worth discussing for the fans. I’m speaking specifically of a batch of five, double-disc compilations (Collections, Greatest Hits, Best of’s, contractual obligation albums, whatever you want to call them) by some veteran Metal bands; specifically Angra, Circle II Circle, Evergrey, Fair Warning and Royal Hunt. I’ll be blunt, I only have the digital copies of these collections. Everyone knows the true value of these types of collections is found in the presentation (packaging, essays, liner notes, photos etc) and of course, the amount of rare or unreleased material such has new songs, live songs, rare songs, bonus videos or even DVD’s. So, in one sense, these quick reviews are incomplete, public service announcements because I’m only basing these reviews on the digital copies. Please enjoy all the five reviews in this mini-feature but take into account my rating is not necessarily just for the music but the execution of what is essentially re-releasing old songs.
Circle II Circle were very prolific in the past decade releasing 6 albums in ten years (2003-2013). This double-disc best of celebrates the bands 10th anniversary and a new album (their 6th) came out right on the heels of this compilation. This is likely one of those ‘contractual obligation albums’ the bands first five albums came out on AFM and this collection features the songs from the AFM years. It’s a pretty big collection with 32 songs running just about 2.5 hours! There is nothing unreleased on this set to the best of my knowledge but there are a few rare cuts from Japanese pressings or bonus tracks for various versions on the international market. I think there is enough rare stuff to make it worthwhile, about 8-10 tracks and they are on the end of Disc 2. The tracks do not run chronologically which is annoying to me.
The track breakdown is as follows.
WATCHING IN SILENCE (6 songs)
THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (7 songs)
BURDEN OF TRUTH (7 songs)
DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR (6 songs)
CONSEQUENCE OF POWER (6 songs)
I’d recommend this collection for casual fans as it has enough rarities to make it worthwhile unless they bought all the EP’s and such, then there is little of consequence on this comp. Circle II Circle are a great band with great music and FULL CIRCLE-THE BEST OF is a good collection of the first ten years but nothing special.