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On disc: Circus Maximus

Nine - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


(Frontiers Records - 2012)

It's been years since Circus Maximus released an album, Isolate was released in 2007 and now they present Nine. It's quite unusual for a young band to let years pass by between album... Their debut The First Chapter was released in 2005 and Nine is their 3rd abum. Right from the start the band got raving reviews, but it seems that Circus Maximus don't feel any pressure... Again they combine prog meta with AOR-ish sounds. They kick off with Forging, an intro, and head into Architect Of Fortune, a complex, guitar-driven tune. Then singer Michael Eriksen joins in the song gets a light note. It's his voice which drags you into the sonic world of Circus Maximus. Welcome to the journey!

After the long track Architect Of Fortune they head into Namaste, a song with distorted vocal parts and Oriental-influenced sounds. It's the vocals which ennoble the songs, which gives them a lightness and make them accessible for non-progsters. Slowly they kick off Reach Within, but then a heavy bass riff takes the lead, the guitars join in and change the whole atmosphere of the song. Last but not least Michael Eriksen joins in and his vocals give the song a sad note... Twists and turns keep this one interesting and actually this can be said about the whole album! For Used they add some heaviness, the guitar sound changes within the song... Again complex sounds and bulky parts are smoothed by the catchy melody line. With the anthemic The One they will hook you up immediately! While the slow Burn After Reading will enchant you in a different way. Speed changes, bombastic sounds and great guitar play is what you get at this 9+ min. long track. And with Last Goodbye they close this chapter, but it's a long way... more than 10 minutes it takes Circus Maximus to say goodbye. It makes me hope that the guys hit the road soon and that it won't take another 5 years til they release another album!

Prog metal fanatics shouldn't write them off, just because they have great hooks. They are still walkin the edge, but they manage extremely well - give Circus Maximus a chance to win you over!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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