Circus Maximus

Rating: 95/100

Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen, May '05
Label: Frontiers Records
Style: Progressive Metal

The 1st Chapter

All right - can someone please explain to me, what the deal is with these Norwegians? In the beginning of the year we were treated with an excellent album from Communic, and I was convinced, that their album was newcomer album of the year! But no! Circus Maximus has with their debut album "The 1st Chapter" managed to deliver an even more complete and brilliant album!

This has to be one the most impressive progressive metal debut albums in a very long time! Everything fits like a hand in a glove on this album: strong songs, wonderful melody-lines, awesome guitar leads, outstanding vocals, a very good sound and the rhythm section of Glen Mollen (bass) and Truls Haugen (drums) lays down the foundations with excellence.

Musically I am pretty sure they known their Dream Theater albums very well - just take a listen to the brilliant instrumental "Biosfear" and you'll know what I mean! But it's not like they are a total rip-off of Dream Theater - everything is done with a lot of conviction and very skilful - from the nice melodic guitar leads, through the nice progressive keyboard parts and not to forget - the wonderful vocals from Michael Erikson - everything seems to be in place on this album!

Nine very strong songs are on offer for us Europeans, and they are all of a very high standard, but a few stands out! I love the very hard and progressive instrumental "Biosfear", but they do also know how to write a nice melodic ballad, which "Silence From Angels Above" is a very good example of ... but one tracks stands above all the other in my book: "The 1st Chapter" - a 19 minutes rock anthem, which has a perfect balance between progressive metal and hard rock - a truly classic metal tune.

If you are only going to buy a few albums this year, then make sure Circus Maximus is among them!
This is just my kind of metal and I can only say this: BUY THIS ALBUM NOW!

Recommended tracks: "Biosfear", "Silence From Angels Above" & "The 1st Chapter"