August 2, 2016

Progressive Rock Review: Circuline-Counterpoint

Release Date: May 5, 2016
Label: Inner Nova

Circuline has gone from being a former rock cover band named Downing Grey to a legitimate force in progressive rock. 

The band is: Andrew Colyer (keys, sound design, and vocals), Darin Brannon (drums, percussion, keys), Natalie Brown (lead vocals), William “Billy” Spillane (lead vocals, rhythm guitars) and Beledo (guitars).

Counterpoint is their second release. As “New Day” comes knocking on your door your immediate sense is that this is a band that means business and provides some serious musicianship. In the background of the track are voices that sound like astronauts speaking to mission control. I found what they were saying unintelligible but it did not matter because the music is just fantastic. The curtain draws back for a new day and Circuline is here to bring progressive rock to touch every sensory perception you have.

The next track is “Who I Am” a complex and quirky number featuring superb ever changing time signatures and the vocals that match up quite nicely to fill in those crazy changes. I am no stranger to this pace and approach, as a matter of fact find it quite entertaining. The male and female vocal exchange and combination of both really complete the track.

“Forbidden Planet” is the title of a track but also a classic 1956 sci-fi movie. The track is a fitting tribute to that genre and culture. This is powerful sweeping music highlighted by a thick layer of keys, powerful vocals, particularly from lead singer Natalie Brown. Then towards the end incredibly strong drumming comes in from Darin Brannon. Everyone gets an opportunity to spread their wings and fly with the sounds. This is an amazing track that truly epitomizes prog rock.

In many ways this is cinematic rock and “Hollow” is the perfect example of that virtuosity. The track just keeps going and going through a trail of changes and ups and downs that will make your head spin. It’s a thrilling musical ride. It has parts that are a little spooky and others that are all amped up with razor sharp guitar licks and fast pace drumming that provides the heartbeat. When the track is completed it clocks in at 10:48. It is a monster track and the very apex of their abilities on display. “Erosion” is just the opposite coming in at 3:21, which is more like an intro compared to everything else offered on the album. It’s a weird little ditty to change the pace for a bit, but not to worry their big sound returns on the next track “Nautilus.” With a title like that you would expect something with power and forcefulness and that is exactly what you get, varying degrees of it of course, after all this is prog. 

The latter half of the album you see another side of the band, at times they take a softer road but it is still adventurous and ultimately entertaining prog rock. The music serves as a soundscape of colors, time and space and perhaps your own movie showing inside your mind’s eye. The choice is yours. That is the gift of great music such as this.

This is a fantastic album from the first note to the last. It was a pleasure to listen to and absorb. I felt so much appreciation and wonder for what I was hearing. It hit my sweet spot and reminded me how alive and well progressive rock is. I think it is safe to say we have been experiencing the golden age of the genre and although the 70s was crucial and fondly remembered it is the last several years that have helped the music grow in popularity like it never has before. Bands like Circuline will be remembered for their contributions and Counterpoint as one of the best releases of 2016.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: New Day, Forbidden Planet, Hollow

01. New Day
02. Who I Am
03. Forbidden Planet
04. Hollow
05. Erosion
06. Nautilus
07. Stay (Peter Frankenstan)
08. S.O.A.
09. Inception
10. Summit

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
Founder of:

August 2, 2016
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

No comments:

Post a Comment