CIRCLE II CIRCLE
"Burden of Truth"

(Locomotive)

01. Who am I to be?
02. A Matter of Time
03. Heal You
04. Revelations
05. Your Reality
06. Evermore
07. The Black
08. Messiah
09. Sentenced
10. Burden of Truth
11. Live as One

RATING: 8.5/10

Zachary Stevens has truly made something special with CIRCLE II CIRCLE. After two beautifully melodic and passionate albums in "Watching in Silence" and "The Middle of Nowhere", the gifted vocalist and songwriter has created his masterwork with "Burden of Truth". Stevens' concept album is inspired by "The Da Vinci Code" (Dan Brown) and "Holy Blood Holy Grail" (Michael Baigent, Richard Leight, and Henry Lincoln). A challenging endeavor to be sure and the music is even better. These are songs you feel right down to the soul and every one is a diamond.

Melody is key and Stevens, along with guitarists Andy Lee and Evan Christopher, bassist Mitch Steward, and drummer Tom Drennan deliver it in a way that sticks with you from song one to song eleven. It is an album in which you can pick any cut and rave about Stevens' soaring vocals and the band's heartfelt performance. The chorus from first single, "Revelations", is classic Stevens. You can just feel the explosive chorus coming and when it does the result is pure bliss, and yet it is merely one of many. The tune also features some muscled sections of double bass drum and guitar syncopation.

I do wish the guitars would have been mixed higher and Stevens' vocals taken down a hair. There is some stout riffing and hot soloing going on here, and the songs would have benefited by bringing the former out more. Said riffing and soloing is heard resoundingly on songs like "A Matter of Time", "Heal You", and "Evermore", all of which further exemplify the band's consistently strong and hook-filled songwriting. Touches of keyboards and acoustic guitar are heard on "A Matter of Time", as well as "Your Reality" and "Live as One". The title track ends with a wholly appropriate section of multi-part vocal harmonizing.

Aside from the aforementioned (very) minor sound mix complaint, I cannot find a damn thing wrong with this album. "Burden of Truth" deserves to be heard by far more people than will probably ever get a chance to check it out. It is one of the better melodic hard rock/metal albums of 2006.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends). To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.