Quite an unusual cd this is and I wasn’t really sure if I should review it here at Vampire Magazine, mainly because we’re a webzine dedicated to the metalscene. And Circles End is not metal at all. Circles End is one of Norway’s premier progressive rock bands so a bit out of the ordinary for most of our readers. The reason why I did this review after all is first of all the fact that Circles End’s label send me this cd to be reviewed, and all albums will be reviewed as we (me in this case) don’t make selections from what will be reviewed and what won’t be reviewed. A label trusts us in our job of doing a fair review so that is what we will do, eventhough the music is not that common to the metalscene. And secondly, from time to time I really can sit back and enjoy albums like "Hang on to that kite", which is Circles End’s second album.
To be honest I’m not familiar with the progressive rock scene of nowadays so I can not really make any comparisons except that Circles End reminds me to Änglagård (Sweden) quite alot. And quite some years ago Änglagård released a really excellent album called "Hybris".
But let’s talk about Circles End now. As said before, they play progressive rock with easy going rhythms, great melodies and nice floating leadguitars. Typical for this kind of music is the use of organs and I have to say they fit this music perfectly. Really alot of variation you’ll get here as also a cello and saxophone is used quite often. Worth mentioning are the vocals by Karl Riis Jacobsen, which are on one hand full of passion and modest and on the other hand really energetic. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Circles End consists of some really talented musicians and that "Hang on to that kite" doesn’t get boring at all.
All in all this is really a nice album to listen to. Compare it to a long journey through your mind and thoughts. A long journey you want to travel over and over again...
Some metalheads may be interested in Circles End as well I guess. If you’re into Arcturus and Winds than maybe you will enjoy Circles End, just give it a listen and you won't be disappointed!
September 29, 2004.