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‘Seasons Will Fall’ is the 6th studio album from Circle II Circle and the follow up to 2010’s ‘Consequence Of Power’. They are probably best known for having vocalist Zak Stevens within their ranks. Stevens, of course, released four pretty good studio albums and one live album with Savatage in the 1990s. Unfortunately, any fans out there hoping this release will live up to the quality of any Savatage album (Stevens or Oliva fronted), or indeed some of the previous Circle II Circle output are going to be pretty disappointed.

Usually you will get one of two things when listening to an album. It’s an immediate fix and the songs click on the first spin or it’s a grower. Granted, that is quite a simplified way of looking at it, but they are essentially your options. I’ve now listened to this album about eight times and it still sounds as generic, bland and tired as it did the first time I put it on the stereo. Stevens does not sound at his best, some of the notes are a little off and forced, I do not like the way his vibrato seems to hang in the air almost constantly and he sounds generally bored and uninspired. He’s still a good singer, but I was expecting much more. What does impress on several tracks is the guitar work of Christian Wentz but that alone cannot save the songs which are pretty much all mid-paced and just not exciting enough. Some of the songs are overlong and, at 67 minutes, so is the album. Nothing is making me say “wow”, stomp my foot or nod my head and that is a big shame because there are some talented people involved here.

As for influences – well, obviously there is a pretty big Savatage connection. In fact, the intro and outro to the track ‘Epiphany’ sounds very much like ‘Gutter Ballet’, although a pretty second rate version and there are several other instances where that comparison comes to the fore. This album also seems to be slightly less progressive than previous Circle II Circle albums; it’s more standard melodic metal. I also think the sticker on the front of the album could be slightly misleading to new or younger fans. Zak Stevens may well have been “A” voice of Savatage, but he certainly wasn’t “THE’” voice as this states. That honour will always go to Jon Oliva! ‘Seasons Will Fall’ is not an awful album by any means, it just sounds incredibly jaded. A stark contrast indeed to the amount of ‘plaudits’ it receives on the press release!
Review by Rick Tilley
25th Feb 2013
1) Diamond Blade; 2) Without a Sound
3) Killing Death
4) Epiphany
5) End of Emotion
6) Dreams That Never Die
7) Seasons Will Fall
8) Never Gonna Stop
9) Isolation
10) Sweet Despair
11) Downshot
12) Only Yesterday
"What does impress on several tracks is the guitar work of Christian Wentz but that alone cannot save the songs..."