CD Title: Return
Label: Independent Release (2015)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
Formed in 2014, the band Circuline have been making a name for themselves supporting a host of big names including Glass Hammer. The core of the band came out of the prog tribute band Downing Grey with the eye to writing original material and Return is their debut effort. Incorporating elements of Kansas at their most progressive, a hint of Yes at their most rocky and even perhaps some of Styx at their most majestic, there is a decidedly AmeriProg vibe happening here. It’s a speedy listen at just forty-minutes but these eight compositions, a couple of which are shorter instrumentals deliver a very satisfying experience. Mixing it up, like any good progressive rock album should Circuline have a great knack for creating some stirring arpeggios that build in intensity contrasted by a mix of male and female vocals that deliver a classic prog sound. Never overly heavy, the guitar and keyboards trade off lead-lines, each soloing at times, then working together to create wonderful swells of music. These are musical compositions that incorporate different musical segments stitched together and then embellished with plenty of musical change-ups, heavy to soft, fast to slow and so forth. Expect the unexpected in some cases as songs just end suddenly and others change dramatically. There’s even a slight touch of the minor notes and dissonance in spots, but it’s just a hint. The opening track “Return” [5:04] with its cascading guitar riffs and “One Wish” [7:26] with its spectacular multiple melody lines and piano-guitar interplay are two standout tracks for me. If you are into any of the bands mentioned this should sound like a winner to your ears, it certainly did to mine. Great stuff and certainly recommended.