"Seasons Will Fall"

By Colonel Angus

I can’t believe that this is Circle II Circle’s sixth studio album.  It seems just like yesterday that they released "Watching In Silence".  This latest record is another fine release to add to their growing catalogue.  It might be the fact that I have not had this record for years so it has a “new-ness” to it, but I think this may be Circle II Circle’s best effort.  With each album, they have grown a little closer to reaching “their” sound, although it does have a good helping of latter day Savatage.  You can’t blame them for sounding a bit like Savatage because Zak Stevens was a big part of that sound from "Edge Of Thorns" through to the end.  I’m not saying that they outright copy that sound; they just wear that influence on their sleeve.  Just listen to “Epiphany” and you can almost hear “Edge Of Thorns” at the beginning.  The keyboards throughout give it that Savatage sound which to my ears is a good thing but like I mentioned earlier, Circle II Circle have carved a sound of their own.

 Songs like “Diamond Blade”, “Never Gonna Stop”, and the title track all contain s signature sound of great riffs and the melodic vocals from Stevens.   While I like all of Circle II Circle’s previous records, I am finding that "Seasons Will Fall" is the most consistent of their records.  There really isn’t a filler tune on the whole release.  In today’s world where CDs tend to make albums longer, artists have a harder time filling up the disk with standout songs.  That what makes "Seasons Will Fall" special in my opinion.  It is solid from start to finish and there is no real reason to skip over tracks.

This is their first release for Armoury Records and like many of today’s bands, the band is new also.  Joining Stevens are Bill Hudson and Christian Wendtz on guitars.  These two fit the bill perfectly with their heavy riffs and clean melodic solos.  I’m not a musician so I can’t tell you if they are “better” than previous players but I can say that they help in finally realizing that Circle II Circle sound.  Henning Wanner provides the keyboards and while in many places it harkens back to that Savatage sound, he manages to fill in the sound without taking it over.  Mitch Stewart and Adam Sagan finish off the group with bass and drums respectively.

I know it is early in 2013 but so far, I think Seasons Will Fall will be in my top 10 for this year.  My recommendation is that anyone who has followed Circle II Circle needs to purchase "Seasons Will Fall".  The album is consistently great throughout and it manages to capture their sound perfectly.  With any luck, Stevens will finally get the success he deserves and "Seasons Will Fall" should to be a highlight on his impressive resume.