"Circulive: New View" (Inner Nova Music; 2020)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I agreed to review Circuline's "Circulive: New View" based on a couple of intriguing points. 1) The band has only previously released two studios CDs and yet this is their second live release. 2) I'm always interested in progressive rock recordings from bands that are new to me.

But what made "Circulive" even more interesting to me is the fact the line-up on this release was different than the band's last live release. What the heck is going on here?

So, with those points in mind, I gave the thirteen tracks on the cleverly named "Circulive: New View" a listen. Interesting progressive rock, all right, a little spacy, well-played and well-recorded. The music is closer to, say, Styx, than what I was expecting (maybe something along the lines of Tangerine Dream—although tracks like "Fallout Shelter" come close). There's enough variety here to keep you guessing, ranging from vocal-driven tunes to piano-driven tunes, to songs with a harder rock edge.

I enjoyed listening to "Circulive" even though the music was a little different than I expected. The musicianship is amazing, most of the tracks held my attention throughout (although I admit to being challenged to get through a few of them). Fans of progressive rock bands (as opposed to progressive metal bands) will find plenty to their liking here.

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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 © 2020 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.