Album review: CIRCUS MAXIMUS – Havok

CIRCUS MAXIMUS - Havok

Frontiers www.frontiers.it [Release date 18.03.16]

Circus Maximus have been around since 2000 and this is album number four from them. Previously they have been more into straight ahead prog metal recalling bands like Kamelot and Symphony X, this time though they have expanded their musical boundaries quite a bit…

It all starts off in typical Circus Maximus fashion on ‘The Weight’ and ‘Higher Bitter’ – prog metal with lots of guitars and keys interplay, with the latter sounding like Enchant, especially in the vocals. Things take a twist on the title track, a modern metal beast that rips out of your speakers. It works really well and vocalist Michael Eriksen keeps things melodic as he is no metal screamer.

‘Loved Ones’ is one of the songs of the year, with the keys riff and production reminding me a little of Shinedown. One glorious chorus on this one and an uplifting lyric, this is melodic rock at its finest. Lovely instrumental break midway through with the guitar solos of Mats Haugen soaring over the keys off Lasse Finbraten. ‘Remember’ is the other song with a more modern rock slant and the band have really spread their musical wings on this album.

They have been showing promise of an album of this magnitude since they started and it is safe to say this is their best album to date. It is a wonderful prog/melodic metal album and just right for your collection. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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