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Review: Circle II Circle - Delusions of Grandeur
Circle II Circle
Delusions of Grandeur

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 45:05
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 2.75/5

Review online: April 10, 2008
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
Delusions of Grandeur

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (10 Votes)

Yet another Savatage-related release from the venerable AFM this month — the other being the latest lacklustre slog from Jon Oliva's Pain — and after the disappointing Burden of Truth, Zak Stevens is back with a slightly better addition to his post-Savatage legacy, the aptly titled Delusions of Grandeur. Far from being a masterpiece, Delusions... does have its charms; that being the concentrated vocals of the former frontman and crushing guitar work of Andy Lee and Evan Christopher. In essence, Circle II Circle's fourth release is a cut above in terms of production and performance, but the age-old dark Power Metal in the Brainstorm mould remains, easily finding the material on Delusions... instantly recognisable and derivative.

The album starts with a bang in a speedy Power Metal vein, with "Fatal Warning" and "Dead of Dawn" being the strongest tracks on offer. The personal subject matter and insightful lyrics single out Circle II Circle among a plethora of generic clones, and this in particular gives Delusions of Grandeur a shadowy chill and ominous bite. Unfortunately after the potent ballad "Echoes" and its harmony-driven brother "Waiting", the album becomes stale, plodding along at mid pace, trading the soaring melodies and pelting percussion for basic riffing and stolid vocal lines before culminating with the extremely Savatage-esque "Every Last Thing". While it takes no Einstein to figure that Delusions of Grandeur won't be the apotheosis of Zak's career, it's at least clear he has the ability to produce an album of tedious intrigue.

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