VICIOUS CIRCLE – Vicious Circle

VICIOUS CIRCLE - Vicious Circle


Vicious Circle Productions
Release date: 2002

User Review
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When you think of big bands that come out of Iowa, you probably think of Slipknot. Not bands with TALENT, or bands who are WORTH LISTENING TO, but bands in general. Well guess what, we are going to have to forgive Iowa for giving us Slipknot, cuz they have made up for it in spades by offering up Vicious Circle to the metal masses.

Vicious Circle sounds like a myriad of different bands. You’ll hear some Dream Theater, Megadeth, Blind Melon, Rage Against the Machine … but in the end, they sound like Vicious Circle. ‘Nuff said …

The self-titled CD starts out with “Twisted Circus,” a tune about heroin addiction. (No, it’s not people who are in lust with Wonder Woman — heroin, not heroine.) You will hear a definite Dream Theater vibe here, intricate musicianship, toned down vocals at the forefront. When the chorus starts, a duplication of vocalist Mark Moss’s vocals leads the song along. This is an excellent intro to the band, but not their strongest work.

“Alone.” What the hell can you say about a song that completely throws you for a loop upon first listen? Well, it’s almost Top 40 in its pop-sensibility, addictive in its construction, and the crescendo at the chorus, an emotive bellow of, “I turn to a friend, but I find myself LONELY again … alone with myself once again,” is too impressive to ignore. (Plus, if you are a fan of Colorado’s Quiet Room, it sounds exactly like their first CD.)

Suddenly, after “Alone,” the blues come up and smack you upside your head on “Always Something.” How can a band that is supposed to be derivative of Dream Theater play something sounding peculiarly like Sister Hazel or Blind Melon? The short answer is, they play whatever the hell they want. No restrictions, no labels, just music. Refreshing, to say the least …

If you asked Vicious Circle what song most symbolizes their sound, it’d probably be “Surreality.” For a group of young guys, they have a maturity belying their age. “Surreality” is a prog-rock construction, but the best part of it is towards the end, about 4:37 into the song. Megadeth screams from this portion of the song, and when you hear it almost mellifluous and flowing at the beginning to rapacious metal, the abrupt change is stellar. Then, it ends like a Kansas ballad … dritbra! (Cool shit, in English.)

They have a lot of memorable songs on this CD. “Friends” is a paean to, well, friends, coupled with strong lyrics and vocals. “In God’s Name” is a song somewhat reflective of 9-11. As they say, “Every war is fought in God’s name.”

But the cream of the crop (get it, Iowa is a farming state) may just be “Time After Time.” If MTV was allowed to play music that was actually good, just once, Vicious Circle would rape the willing with this song. The vocals are amazing; Moss has a range that will remind you of no one else, and that’s a compliment.

Vicious Circle isn’t spoon-fed rock/metal. You aren’t going to hear it once and go “Yippeeeeee, I want a tattoo of Vicious Circle on my gut!” Well, you might, and that’s cool. But, this kind of music takes a few listens to really appreciate the talent behind it. So take the time, check it out, and thank Metal Express after all is said and done.

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