Thursday, December 26, 2013

Circle's Line-Circle's Line

Steel Gallery Records

From the sounds of things it sure doesn't look as if the Greek heavy metal scene will dry up any time soon. At least that's the impression one gets when you listen to this self-titled release from Circle's Line. Formed at the end of 2011, which makes them a fairly new face in the Greek heavy metal crowd, the band is lead up front by Tasos Karapapazoglou (Elwing, Nemesis, ex-Windfall) who, besides delivering lead vocals of the epic metal sort (Think Ronnie James Dio meets Rob Halford, but with a bit of a Greek twist!), produced this album. And what an album it is! That is if you like heavy metal with a high level of technical flare and with a wide berth of influences/styles. After two numbers (opener "Shoot To Kill" and "A Circle's Line") that seem to suggest a gathering of some of heavy metal's true heavyweights like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Dio the album pulls in a bit of (Dio-era) Black Sabbath with "Desperado" before turning towards Blind Guardian and Iced Earth with "Jame's Story"! And, that's just the album's first four tracks! Needless to say this is one album that doesn't suffer from a lack of diversity! Of course such variety requires a talented individual handling the six-string and that task falls to Kaidis Panos. While his lead work is never in question (see "Shoot To Kill", "A Circle's Line", "A Heroic Tune" and "Legions Of The Damned") his true ability really starts to shine on "Dark River".  Recalling some of Ritchie Blackmore's better moments, "Dark City" has an opening which is absolutely to die for before it gradually moves towards a more European-style of power metal. Speaking of which, Circle's Line are likely the exact kind of band that will appeal to fans of European-style power metal as much as it will to fans of traditional, U.S.-based power metal. And that right there is what made "Circle's Line" such a pleasant listening experience. The group, which also includes bass guitarist Taxiarhes Apostolakopoulos and drummer Nick Tsilicoudis, constantly strives to keep things fresh and interesting while also making sure that they maintain their true heavy metal nature. When I first read over the promo material for this album it claimed that it would appeal to fans of Iron Maiden, Crimson Glory, Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, Firewind, Joe Satriani, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Dio and Queensrÿche! Sure enough it would! There's nothing here to suggest otherwise. I'd personally toss in a few other names like Rainbow, Dream Evil, Helloween and maybe even Memento Mori, but that's just me being me! Overall "Circle's Line" was pure joy from the standpoint of a fan first and foremost (as that is what I am and will always be at the end of the day folks!) and comes recommended. Regardless of the fact that Circle’s Line is a fairly new name in the field of heavy metal, even if lead vocalist Tasos Karapapazoglou himself isn't, if this release is an indication at all of this band's potential then this this Greek act has a very promising future in front of them!

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