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Circa - Valley Of The Windmill

Valley Of The Windmill
by Craig “Thrashing” Rider at 16 February 2017, 9:17 PM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! I'm proud to present to you: CIRCA; signed via Frontiers Records, hailing from the United States Of America - performing Progressive Rock, on their 4th album entitled “Valley Of The Windmill”.

Since formation in 2007; the quintet in question have released 3 albums behind them, I'm introduced to their 4th,“Valley Of The Windmill”. Progressive Rock haunts me again…only in a good and pleasant way; like with many sub-genres, it takes time for one to appreciate the unique balance of such a formulaic substance. Studying its intention needs an open mind for fulfillment; at least it does in my case. What we have here is a enlightening record in which ascends from its comfortable boundary to something totally unprecedented that one would usually expect, going in with low expectations…I am surprised to be finding myself enjoying a nice slab of solid Progressive Rock, proficient musicianship balanced with instrumental integrity that is all round prominent and outright enjoyable. It's always nice to vary yourself from something that you aren't familiar with; as long as it sounds good, of course.

Delivering 4 lengthy tracks ranging at around 50 minutes long…the interesting thing about “Valley Of The Windmill” is how short the track lengths are, and how long the album actually is. “Silent Resolve” is around 14:41; showcasing Progressive Rock that exquisitely sounds enlightening to listen to, not at all destructive…just fascinatingly fabulous to lay back to. “Empire Over” is about 9:24 so the lengthily tradition carries on; musically, alluring…CIRCA move out of their comfortable boundary and progressively ascends further with uniqueness in mind. The titular track leads into similar fashion; unafraid of compiling impressive instrumentation, makes for a magnificent production. And so “Our Place Under The Sun” concludes the record in similar fashion. I was very surprised with this release…the Prog sub-genre must either be growing on me; or the band in question are just that good.

Consisting of Billy Sherwood on vocals/guitars performs a wide array of complex cords at his disposal that aren't at all too aggressive; they are efficiently flair and showcase a distinct mood for an atmospheric enticement. Also on guitars; he flourishes away with a dexterous incentive, and adapts with divine melody. Tony Kaye on keyboards/Hammond excels at a unique perspective, which entails harmonics that deliver sufficient prominence unexpectedly. The powerhouse of Scott Donner on drums/percussion and Rick Tierney on bass contribute distinctively well to uphold the sound production with elegant sufficiency. “Valley Of The Windmill” explores different variations and consistently produces epic musicianship, it is utmost diverse and balances an indifferent aesthetic and composes a stellar substance that most people will find unparalleled to the usual bands we enjoy.

Certainly worth listening to at least once.

Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 7
Originality: 9
Sound Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Silent Resolve
2. Empire Over
3. Valley Of The Windmill
4. Our Place Under The Sun
Billy Sherwood – Vocals, Guitars
Tony Kaye – Keyboards, Hammond
Scott Connor – Drums, Percussion
Rick Tierney – Bass
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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