CIRCLE OF ILLUSION – Jeremias – Foreshadow Of Forgotten Realms (CD)
Listening to Circle Of Illusion’s music is like doing cocaine on a shiny, clean broken piece of mirror, as it’s got so much weird and tripped out and symphonic musical pieces, whoa. “Jeremias – Foreshadow Of Forgotten Realms” is a conceptual CD based on a Euro mythical story from the Renaissance era time period, which is fucking brilliant. This eight piece band with two popish-sounding female vocals and one male singer with a slightly pop edge, but more in the progressive rock vein, kind of like Yes and Asia rounds out this eight piece group. This album is very long, clocking in at 1 hour and 18 minutes, and showcases a lot of the band’s talents within many unique variations in 11 of their eclectic songs featured here.
Their synthesizer passages are played with the highest level of skill, with the prog metal/rock guitars doing their own thing, and drums keeping all of their songs as interesting as possible. The drums and synths at times remind of Vanden Plas, Pallas and even Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force. I love the atmosphere on this album, as it does transport the listener into Circle Of Illusion’s world of the make believe. When you combine this huge atmospheric trait with the progressive guitars and drumming style, you’re treated to a vast array of emotions and sounds that’ll surely move your world.
However, my only complaint with this band is their use of popish jazz guitar parts and female vocal passages, which become too redundant and sound terrible with the one of ladies repeating in two of their songs: “Ya, Ya, Ya, Ya – Ya, Ya, Ya, Ya”. Listening to these vocal harmonies was sheer mental torture, as it did nothing for their music in these two songs, but make everything sound so bland and repetitive. Guys, please, please drop the jazz parts from your music, as you’ve tons of talent for Circle Of Illusion to cover new ground within the progressive rock and metal worlds.
Besides this one element, I was impressed with their playing, vocal arrangements for the most part, and their production found on this album, as every track came across as grand and very ethereal in style and feel. These guys and gals are definitely a little more talented than your typical run of the mill heavy metal music band, as they’ve a lot going on here in all aspects. [Generation Prog Records] Sarjoo Devani