The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


Circus Maximus



By Robert Kitay

“Nine” is the third album from Norwegian prog-metal band Circus Maximus, who must have taken the same class in naming albums as Chickenfoot. It has been 5 years since their last release “Isolate,” and taking their time has certainly paid off. This album is simply a masterpiece. As far as prog-metal goes, this album is very approachable and not overly heavy, although it does have some heavy moments. The entire album is very melodic and full of hooks that just grab you and pull you in. There is so much in this album that it’s really hard to put your head around it all. I love every minute of it.


After the short spacey introduction “Forging,” the album launches into a 10 minute plus song “Architect of Fortune.” Wow, this song is simply amazing. The musicianship is just fantastic, as it is throughout the entire album. Michael Eriksen’s vocals are clean and haunting, with plenty of range. This song moves between heavy guitars, acoustic guitars, keyboard sections, standout drumming, all flowing nicely making this 10 minute song feels like its only 3 minutes long.


The next song, “Namaste” is a little heavier, with a more“modern” metal sound for the first part of the song, with some nice crunchy guitar. Yet, the song is still very melodic and has a slightly mellower section later in the song, before another heavy ending. Nice!


The album continues with “Game of Life,” that starts with a nice piano part with a background of crunchy guitar and bass, followed by a song that focuses more on the vocals. A really fantastic guitar solo on this song. This song has very much a majestic sound to it, with an irresistible hook.


“Reach Within” has a nice guitar grove into and is somewhat mellow, very melodic, with another mind blowing guitar solo by Mats Haugen.


“I Am” again is a very melodic and a bit more pop oriented song. Its keyboard has a sound reminiscent of something you might hear on a song by The Killers. Yet, the guitars are heavy, and once again there is a fantastic guitar solo unlike what you’re going to hear on a pop album.


“Used” opens with an amazing guitar riff followed by a driving song featuring Michael Eriksen’s haunting vocals, and once again a fantastic guitar solo.


“The One” has a bit of commercial metal sound, but again they throw a wrench into everything with breaks into actual musicianship that is so missing with many of today’s metal bands.

“Burn After Reading” is a 9 minute song with an acoustic into, that build getting heavier, and heavier as the song progresses, then gradually slowing down to finish the way it started. Nice!


The final song, “Last Goodbye,” is another 10 minute song, and one of my favorites. Every time I hear this song I keep thinking how perfect it would be for a movie soundtrack. Yet to do that they would probably have to slice it up removing a lot of the prog elements from the middle of the song (the good stuff). You can hear a lot of influence from the band Yes in some sections of this song.


I love everything about the album. Amazing songs, fantastic musicianship, perfect production. The album has 10 songs, including 2 over 10 minutes long and one over 9 minutes long, yet it feels like the album is only 15 minute long. I can’t praise this album enough. Go and get it.



Review posted 6th June 2012