Circadian Pulse is an Australian progressive metal band that was started in 2008 by bass player Simon D'Alfonso. At first guitarist Bzen Byanjankar joined and within half a year other guitar player Stephen Stergiades was enlisted too. During 2009, the band was writing song material, besides searching for members to complete the band. After auditioning vocalists, Adrian Sofia was found and with the help of guest drummers the band was starting to play live. During this process and with the goal to play a melodic kind of progressive metal, the need for a keyboard player became evident and soon the ranks were closed when Dave Holley joined. “Closed” is not quite the right word, because of the opening for a drummer still was alive. But, not wanting to wait, the band went into the studio and with the help of two befriended drummers the EP In The Blink Of An Eye was recorded. Recently, it became known that the Circadian Pulse drum stool will be occupied by the young New Zealand talent Tommy O.
The album is filled with five compositions, with the opener No Return immediately showing the capabilities of the individual musicians. This over ten minutes clocking epos mixes the influences of Dream Theater with the vocals of Fates Warning (Ray Alder comes to mind). No Return is nicely built around a strong base of keyboards and guitar chords. Half way the two guitars are playing towards each other in the best Fates Warning tradition, however still keeping, or better working on a sound of their own. Listen to the relaxed guitar solo that you will not find on a Fates Warning or Dream Theater album. During the next song; Hourglass some of the guitar riffs have some similarities with Threshold's music and combined with a bass sound sounding like John Myung (Dream Theater), the sphere is set. Vocalist Adrian does a great job in combining power to emotion, but on the other hand, his voice really comes close to the sound of Ray Alder. Again the base is set with keyboards in the background and two guitarists who are challenging each other, playing over it. Without Love, is a more semi-acoustic ballad type composition, where the vocals are leading, making this melancholic progressive song a real showcase for the intense vocals. Sea Of Sand is a short instrumental interlude, creating a visualisation of someone walking through the stretched Australian desert. Failed By A System is the last song of the album and here the vocals are somehow a bit diverse from the rest at certain points. This sounds more retro as the previous songs, more straight edged and more towards older metal, including the rough vocal lines and more melodic backing vocals. Listen and you hear what I mean. During the middle part you get a short keyboard solo, but then the guitars take over in a tremendous trade off; eighties metal style. Towards the end this eighties feel only gets stronger, certainly not bad, just a bit dated I guess.
With this EP, Circadian Pulse have put themselves on the map as a promising progressive metal band from Australia. During the compositions the band is searching for its own identity and I have to admit that the Dream Theater/ Fates Warning influenced songs-the first two-are the ones that I like best. I would like to hear how this band evolves, but for now; the band has left a good impression but needs to follow their own path.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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