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Review: Circus Maximus - Isolate
Circus Maximus

Label: Sensory Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 54:44
Tracks: 9
Genre: Progressive Metal


Review online: September 5, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.31/5 (86.15%) (26 Votes)

Norway seems to be the new center of the Prog universe, with now two of the best prog bands on earth hailing from fjord-land. If I have to pick, I think Circus Maximus are better than countrymen Pagan's Mind, if only because their focus seems to be more on solid songs rather than instrumental showing off.

Circus Maximus wear their Dream Theater worship proudly right there for everyone to see, and nobody cares because they do the Dream Theater thing better than DT themselves have been doing it for the last 15 years. Rather than focus on waning at the expense of the song, CM concentrate on writing memorable melodies and in giving singer Micheal Eriksen a lot to do with his clear, strong voice. He doesn't sound a million miles removed from Nils Rue, but actually, he's a lot less nasal, and he has better vocal melodies to work with. The production is clear as a bell, and the instrumentation is impressive, but the real surprise here is how genuinely catchy the band manages to be while still displaying undeniable prog songwriting.

If you like progressive metal, then this is an album you probably already own, but if you are (like me) suspicious of all things prog, then this is a disc for you, as it is undeniably prog, but it avoids the excesses of the genre in favor of its strengths.

More about Circus Maximus...
Review: Havoc (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Isolate (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: The 1st Chapter (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
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