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The Last Things – Circles And Butterflies Award winner

The Last Things
Circles And Butterflies
by Vasilis Odontidis at 23 January 2012, 11:18 PM

When I found out that this record is another re-release I was a bit hectic not wanting to have another reheated meal served in front of me. The St. Petersburg Florida band THE LAST THINGS or BLACKKOUT as known in their prime, released one and only album “Circles and Butterflies” back in 1993. Their sound reminded me of a lot of bands like first and foremost the awesome WATCHTOWER while there where elements of bands like PSYCHOTIC WALTZ (flute!), SAVATAGE, TITAN FORCE and ATHEIST. “Circles and Butterflies” is a complex, multilayered record with lots of technical parts with guitars full of rage and monstrous riffs, a thunderous bass, excellent drumming performance, magnificent synths and Elliot’s voice being the last piece of puzzle that fits so perfectly with all the rest. I was really impressed by the record I had to review and it came to me as no surprise to find that it has a strong path of followers after so many years.

In this release the first eleven tracks are the original “Circle And Butterflies” tracks the next three belong to the “The Last Things”’ 1994 demo while the last two to an unreleased BLACKKOUT Demo of 1990. “Circle And Butterflies” can be separated in two parts as the first six songs are part of the same recording and have the same concept musically and lyrically. The later five were recorded later with a weaker production due to band’s struggles with management and finances. Since, they are too many songs I will just say that they are equally diverse and interesting having all those small pieces and influences from the bands I mentioned before.

Concerning the demos, the first one is different, having a much more progressive – space Rock style with slower speeds and immense soundscapes created by the use of synths, flute and guitar effects. The second one from the BLACKKOUT era is on the contrary focusing on speed and technical playing and reminded me again of WATCHTOWER. Despite the fact that the last five songs belong to demos their quality and musicianship is no less than excellent.

To close, eventually, this review I have to comment the amazing work of all the musicians. Lou Buffo is a beast of a drummer nailing all the parts perfectly. I couldn’t find much about the later works – if any – of Richard Elliot the mastermind behind all that is THE LAST THINGS. Darren McFarland later moved to ATHEIST and he participated only on the first six tracks of “Circles and Butterflies”. Matt Laporte (R.I.P.) appeared with the band only in live performances, though credited in the line-up. I was really amazed by the quality of this record the influences the band had and how they filtered them only to create this unique result. According to Richard Elliott he is preparing new material and all the fans should be eagerly waiting. Until then …

4 Star Rating

1. Inside The Circle (The Scorpion and The Capricorn)
2. Blackhours
3. Circle of Willis
4. The Vow
5. After-Birth
6. The Circle Ends?
7. Ghost From The Past?
8. The Missing Piece
9. Morgan’s Song
10. Reservations
11. The Spirit Lives
12. Bloom
13. A Promise Broken
14. Lost Generations
15. 51216
16. Cassandra
Richard Elliott IV– Vocals, Guitar, Violin, Bagpipes, Flute, Percussion, Keyboards
Matt Laporte– Guitar
Darren McFarland– Bass
Lou Buffo- Drums
Record Label: Arkeyn Steel Records


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Edited 03 December 2022

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