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Circus Maximus - Nine: My Review

Discussion in 'Circus Maximus' started by Harvester, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Harvester

    Harvester The Promoter

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  2. Ninfix

    Ninfix Gamer of life

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    Nice review. How did you get the CD?
     
  3. gaz

    gaz Stargazer

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    He knows the band.
    The CD is available here in Australia today and in a few hours I will detour on my way home and pick up the CD.
    Can't wait.
     
  4. ProgMetalRules

    ProgMetalRules Devil's Inc.

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    I've listened to it about 5 times now, and it hasn't sunk in yet. So far I am not impressed, especially since it took 5 years to see the light of day. Unlike the two previous releases, there are no memorable songs that get stuck in my head.
     
  5. Frankgate

    Frankgate Member

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    I'm not impressed too, though it's a very strong record anyway. The "easier" songs (Game Of Life, I Am, Used) really rocks with incredible hooks. I'm not completely convinced by the longer and "proggier" songs. After a five years wait I would have expected something more.
     
  6. Edd037

    Edd037 Member

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    I got my CD today and given it a couple of plays. I probably need longer to let it fully sink in, but here is my initial reaction:

    The Good
    • Mike’s vocals are as amazing as ever.
    • The rhythm section sounds astounding; it has real punch. I’m not expert but it doesn’t sound quite as ‘loud’ as some modern CDs.

    The Bad
    • There a fewer catchy melodies and great choruses.
    • I’m not a fan of the ringing guitar sound on this CD and the keyboards are virtually nonexistent which means half of the songs sound like progressive pop-rock and not prog metal.

    The Ugly
    • Mike is one of the best singers around, so why on earth did they decide to mask his voice with some horrible effect on Namaste?

    Overall its not a bad album, but its not the album I was expecting or hoping for. It will be easy to get into a debate as to whether it would be better for the band to write The Third Chapter/Isolate 2 or to develop their sound, but this album is a little too much of a departure from their earlier sound for my liking.
     
  7. ccd333

    ccd333 New Metal Member

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    Not sure which album you are listening to...but I think:

    - There are plenty of catchy melodies and choruses. I am already "replaying" parts of several songs in my head when I am not listening. Maybe you just need to hear it a few more times. :Spin:
    - The ringing guitar sound is called "bright".....and I rather like that tone
    - Keyboards are prevalent in every song. They might not dominate, but they enhance the sound to just the right amount. Additionally, I find it interesting that you equate the lack of keys (as you perceive it) in this case as being more metal than without. I would venture to say most feel just the opposite.
    - Namaste is a popular greeting in India (hence the musical tones in that regard.....kinda like the song "Home" by Dream Theater). My sense of the masking of his voice for certain parts of the song is just that......it's an indictment by the lyricist(s) of the method of war like behaviors exhibited by whomever they are referring in those parts. Then the song changes and conveys the salutation of which Namaste refers as a counter approach.
    - I am glad it's a departure from the other albums.....but I don't think near as radical a one as I thought it might be. Each disc has its own vibe to it.....this one is generally more upbeat, but there are still heavy parts and enough progressive pieces to satisfy me. This is a great, great album!
     
  8. Edd037

    Edd037 Member

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    I agree there are lots of catchy melodies, but there are no songs like Wither, for example which has 3 or 4 sections which could be the chorus, because they all have strong melodies. In general, there are many more musically sparse parts whereas previous albums have been characterized by having lots of melodies crammed into relatively short songs.

    Where I live in the UK, every band has this same bright guitar sound, so I associate it with mainstream rock bands, but it isnt necessarily a bad thing - down to personal opinion, I guess.

    There are very few keyboard dominated passages. This is a guitar driven album. To my mind keyboards are used much more in progressive metal than in contemporary rock.

    But thats only picking up on the negative points of what I said. I agree that it is in no way a bad album and there are many aspects I really like; my two positive points were much more general than the negative points. But it is a big departure in sound and that is always likely to disappoint some fans. I guess I am kind of stuck into a progressive metal bubble.
     
  9. ccd333

    ccd333 New Metal Member

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    Fair enough. And I wasn't addressing your general opinion of the album.....I get that you meant it was good overall. I was questioning your caveats and I think we can just agree to disagree on some of those things.

    I think whatever departure in sound won't alienate any more fans than the differences between 1st Chapter and Isolate. In fact, I think it will be significantly less because of the perception created from Michael Eriksen's comments about the album a few months ago (there's a post or two somewhere in this forum about that)......and the generally mellower and somewhat more pop sounding "Reach Within" sample. I admit to having my own view skewed to whatever extent. I was expecting a VERY radical departure on every song.....and while it is different and stands on its own in the same way that Isolate and 1st Chapter do, it is still unmistakably Circus Maximus.

    I think that expectation I had about it only served to make it seem that much better. It's just the opposite of another band on these forums....Redemption. I was expecting something really spectacular from them after Snowfall on Judgment Day.....and I was thoroughly disappointed with This Mortal Coil. It's not a horrible album, but the production is muddy and the songs don't have that wonderful layering of their other discs, and it's way too straightforward for my tastes. Nine is richly diverse and creative. And despite the long hiatus possibly creating an expectation of some ultimate tour de force of sound.....I find it to be more and more engaging after each ear pleasing spin.

    It's tough to please everyone, but it seems CM have made the album they were inspired to do.....and I think it comes across that way as being quite genuine and not forced or contrived.
     
  10. Roddoliver

    Roddoliver Member

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    I did not like Nine. The album just does not grab my attention, I can't imagine a good live show with these songs. The production is a big problem, the debut album sounds so much better and clearer. The vocals are not highlighted and the drums sound muffled. I love the other albums of Circus Maximus. The songs Used and Last Goodbye have really good intros and some cool parts, but I'm also not impressed with Nine. It's easily their worst album, without the brilliant crazy music from the previous works.
     
  11. Edd037

    Edd037 Member

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    I know a lot of fans were disappointed with the more power sound of Isolate compared to the prog sound of The First Chapter. I like them both in their own way (as I imagine I will grow to like Nine), but of the three Isolate is my favorite.

    I am also a big Redemption fan and I tend to agree that after Snowfall, which is one of my favorite albums, This Mortal Coil is slightly disappointing due to the aweful production and the straightforward songs on the first half of the disk.
     
  12. JesterIF

    JesterIF Member

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    If you guys were expecting The Second Chapter, of course you are disappointed now. Personally, I wasn't expecting anything in particular, just good music as I was sure CM could always deliver no matter the direction they'd take.

    The new album is more straight forward, and at the same time much more mature than their previous efforts. It's not my favorite of the three, but I enjoyed it very much for what it is. Namaste sent some shivers down my spine and I really gotta say Last Goodbye even though a bit cheesy was a phenomenal tune. Too bad the production is a bit muddy.
     
  13. rapidspeed

    rapidspeed Member

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    I just heard the whole album for the fifth time and it still seems like I haven't heard it enough times to really start to understand it. My first impressions is that it still sounds like CM yet they are developing their music for the better, I don't see what everyone is saying about no catchy melodies, everything about this album screams fun. I can already imagine myself singing out these tunes this Summer, I really like it and I'm sure I'll like it even more by the end of the month! :D
     
  14. uliguit

    uliguit New Metal Member

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    For sure, the guys are incredible musicians. But, in my opinion, they can't become everybody's darling after their first two great releases!

    It was their own decision to choose the way they drive and that is what we have to accept.
    For me not the preferred way, but for them - hopefully not affected by any poweful forces - their artistical evolution.

    Hats off fot the clear statemaent!! But maybe not my favorite in the future ...
     
  15. rapidspeed

    rapidspeed Member

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    Word of advice guys, despite not being my favorite song on the album 'Game of Life' can win Norway the Eurovision :p
     
  16. korruption

    korruption Amateur Dentist

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    Am I the only one that noticed the "nine" text on the cover looks like it's flipping the bird? And by the way it should be coming today so I'm looking forward to that. :D
     
  17. JackWallabee

    JackWallabee New Metal Member

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    Best CM album by far, imo.
     
  18. mleijzer

    mleijzer Guitarfreak

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    Not to me.
    A great album for sure, which I enjoy very much but it doesn't have the impact or the dynamics of "Isolate" which remains my favourite CM album.
    On Nine there's a few great songs, on Isolate it's mostly amazing songs.
     
  19. cybercussion

    cybercussion New Metal Member

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    I like to watch my wife's reaction to what I have playing...

    Dream Theater - she powers off my stereo after a couple songs. I know it mostly has to do with that quirky little keyboard/drum/guitar "everyone solo at once just on the frey of out of time" thing. We call that progressive right? .. push the limit. At some point everyone else checks out. At some point it becomes just noise even if its in key.

    James Labrie's solo projects: "Who is this? I really like it", turns it up.

    My reaction was similar to much of the guys above at first. Recipe changed a little, but I like it a lot. Wife said turn it up. Excellent Lyrics, just the right amount of drums, and the guitar still screams when its suppose to. It's a mood too ... and this one felt like confidence without the ego.
     

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