Double Music Review-Circle II Circle- Full Circle-Greatest Hits and Seasons will Fall


Disc 1
1. All That Remains
2. Who Am I to Be?
3. Consequence of Power
4. Watching in Silence
5. Dead of Dawn
6. Into the Wind
7. In This Life
8. Out of Nowhere
9. Revelations
10. Blood of an Angel
11. Heal You
12. Open Season
13. Echoes
14. Out of Reach
15. Forgiven
16. Redemption

Disc 2
1. Every Last Thing (Single Version)
2. The Circle
3. Sentenced
4. Take Back Yesterday
5. The Middle of Nowhere
6. Soul Breaker
7. Darkness Rising
8. Into the Wind (Acoustic Version)
9. Shadows
10. Symptoms of Fate
11. Stay
12. Watching in Silence (Live Version)
13. Burden of Truth (Acoustically Enhanced)
14. Against the World
15. Evermore (Live Version)
16. Strung Out


1. Diamond Blade
2. Without A Sound
3. Killing Death
4. Epiphany
5. End Of Emotion
6. Dreams That Never Die
7. Seasons Will Fall
8. Never Gonna Stop
9. Isolation
10. Sweet Despair
11. Downshot
12. Only Yesterday

– Zak Stevens / Vocals
– Mitch Stewart / Bass, Vocals
– Bill Hudson / Guitar, Vocals
– Christian Wentz / Guitar, Vocals
– Henning Wanner / Keyboards, Vocals
– Adam Sagan / Drums

Review-I want to say right off the bat I was a huge fan of Jon Oliva’s Savatage stuff, though when Zak took over all the vocal duties in later Savatage records, it was hit and miss for me. I dislike Edge of Thorns so much, but I love Handful of Rain and was a fan of most of Dead Winter Dead, but gave up after that. Zak since Savatage called it a day has been in Circle II Circle, and most recently I finally decided to give them a chance. I decided to start with their greatest hits, and then go to their upcoming cd. I love greatest hits compilations from bands I never checked out before, because I know to listen to them I will know what this band has to offer and know if I am the fan for this band. One thing is for sure Circle II Circle has some great guitar riffs, and a singer who if you are familiar with later day Savatage you know he can go.

My issue with this cd is there is just too much music on it, that some of it feels like it was just thrown on this cd just to take up space. Now, I am not saying this is a all out bad record, but I think this cd is more for the die hards then the new fans. Now that being said, there are plenty of tracks on this cd that I am a fan of, and makes me want to listen to the cds they came from like The Circle and Sentenced, this is power metal heaven, and it sounds like a modern day Savatage with the guitar riffs that just reek of 90’s metal glory. I am just not a fan of having live songs mixed with studio songs; it takes away from the experience of the concert and the feeling of being there. Is it so hard, to make either a live record or a cd of studio tracks, why mix both it takes away from the experience. They do a acoustic version of Into The Wind which sounds like Geoff Tate inspired, and Zak shines but I love the Zak metal vocals more than the ballad Zak. Though, the acoustic one is a million times better than the regular studio one. To me, Circle II Circle shine more when they let that guitar rip and let Zak go with the flow.

The big problem with this collection is that there are so many songs that it just felt like overkill, how many piano ballads do we really need from a band who has such a talented group of musicians that can rip and tear and create some great power metal. On this record the guitar playing on every track of this cd delivers, even when the rest of the ingredients are a fail. Revelations is awful, and it sounds like they were inspired by lesser albums like Load and any commercial record you guys have hated. You have so many powerful tools in this band that I feel they are trying too hard to be accepted by mainstream fans that they are scared to fully give us the best they can deliver. This is a greatest hits compilation, and it felt like a few good songs, some fair songs and the rest a band that is trying way too hard to revive a past that was not that successful for one of them.

5 out of 10

Seasons Will Fall-coming out Jan. 25th 2013

Review-After listening to the greatest hits, I was ready to see what Circle II Circle 2013 is going to offer me. First off, I am a fan of this so called Power Metal or as some call it Theatrical Metal. Circle II Circle comes out the gate with a little fury and power song called Diamond Blade it is a straight forward power metal song that could get people excited about what the rest of the cd has to offer. Zak with his operatic vocals and the guitar fury seems to really get the ball moving. Without a Sound keeps it going with the mid tempo piano and guitar duet that Zak keeps things going in almost a Dead Winter Dead flow. Killing Death is another decent straightforward power metal gem that seems to know how to keep Zak in the forefront with his vocals against a little guitar riff that seems to flow till the piano break that Zak tries to do some operatic chorus that really was a little out of place, but the song was ok despite it. As the cd keeps going the sound goes into more Savatage inspired ground, and not just from the vocals but all involved they want to revive Savatage. I know Oliva has sworn to keep the Savatage flag flying with his solo band Pain, but does he know that also TSO and now Circle II Circle seem to keep that flag flying as well. I know Zak is an ex singer for the band and he was a decent one for his time, but he is not Oliva, and I know in Savatage the fans let him know that, but I feel with this band he thinks the fans forgot when they let him know and he is again feeling like he is stuck in that shadow.

I know the musicians in this band are talented, but the music is average at best. With a song here and there that may get you excited but by midway thru the cd, you just sit there and wish they would put some imagination, heart and maybe anything to make the songs better than they are. The music on this cd all sounds alike to me by the time I got to the last song, I thought I was listening to some bad 1997 Savatage demos. The drums, guitars while they sound very good as do the vocals, they sound just so generic when you start to really think about what you just heard. This is just another one of those bands that seem to exist for no other reason but to say they put out a record. I love Jon Oliva’s Pain, I think that Jon has really tried to break the chains of Savatage and create different music then where Savatage was heading after Gutter; I feel Zak still feels like this is still his calling. I look at Handful of Rain as where Zak needs to take his sound. Maybe get a member to your band you do not let go after a tour or cd and start to get a face, a presence. Zak is so much more talented than this, all in all this cd I would say is for diehard fans but let’s face it even though I did not follow this band since its inception, I am still a fan of what Zak brought to Savatage. What a wasted opportunity to really make a statement.

4 out of 10