The second album is for many bands actually harder to records than
the first one, and the phrase; 'make it, or break it' is often very
fitting. Circus Maximus has with 'Isolate' recorded a mature,
well produced and well executed album, which compared to their first
one 'The 1st Chapter' sadly, falls a bit short.
While the first album convinced me from start to finish, this one
leaves me a little bit disappointed. Not that there is anything
wrong with the recording, the performance or the musician ship - all
of those details are top notch and all nine songs have a very high
standard. But only a few songs - see below - really leaves a lasting
mark, to me it seems like they are taking the safe road here.
What I miss is the magic, the special something that would have made
this album outstanding and reaching the stratosphere their debut
album did. I wish they'd taken a couple of risks like they did on
their debut album. Take the instrumental "Sane no More" or the
ballad "Zero" both of them are great songs, but neither quite
reaches their counterparts on the debut album: "Biosfear" and
"Silence from Angels Above". Or take the two epics: "Mouth of
Madness" and "Ultimate Sacrifice" - in their own terms very good
songs, but both falls just a little bit short of the title track
from their first album.
'Isolate' is still a very good progressive metal album, with
lot's of fine pieces, a flair for a good melody, catchy songs and a
very good vocalist. I have no doubt in my mind that Circus
Maximus will be joining the elite of Scandinavian progressive
metal scene with this album.
Maybe my own expectation was too high - but let that scare you off,
because this album does have the quality and potential to take them
to better and bigger places...
"Abyss", "Mouth of Madness" & "Ultimate Sacrifice".