"The Middle of Nowhere" (Locomotive; 2005)

Reviewed by Snidermann

As I sit hear and listen to "The Middle of Nowhere," a fine recording by Circle II Circle, I think of a term I discovered while browsing the Internet: "Melodic symphonic metal." And it really fits. 

"The Middle of Nowhere" is very well done, tightly performed and extremely easy to get into, with just enough intensity to keep your attention and never be boring. I think what I liked most about this band was the way the music flows from tune to tune effortlessly with nary a gap. 

"The Middle of Nowhere" is very well written and the storyline is deep and sophisticated. However, as of this writing, I really haven't grasped the entire concept yet. But I will. The search is half the fun.

Followers of symphonic metal will really get a kick out of "The Middle of Nowhere." 

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"Watching in Silence" (AFM; 2003)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Circle II Circle's debut release is as metal as it gets, thanks mainly to the writing team of ex-Savatage vocalist Zak Stevens and Savatage main men Jon Oliva and Cris Caffery. As you might guess, "Watching in Silence" bursts with the majestic spirit of Savatage.

Written so that it plays almost like the score to a Broadway play, "Watching in Silence" features fancy fretwork, a slew of operatic chest-thumping, and an appreciative nod to bands such as Queensryche and Nevermore. 

While this quintet's semi-progressive metal is not in the same league as Dream Theater, it instead finds a comfortable niche somewhere within the legacy of Savatage and old school metal like Judas Priest. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:10 -0500.