For many lovers of progressive rock living in the USA is Circuline a rather well known name. However for those living on the other side of the Atlantic ocean this name doesn't ring any bells for most of them. They don't know that they started early 2014 and released already two studio albums. Namely Return (2015) and Counterpoint (2016). This sextet from New York occasionally does some live performance in their country and also wants to climb the stage in Europe. But as with many bands from North or South America it is rather difficult to reach their audience outside their home country and see them face to face. Therefore it is sometimes a good way to come with a live release. This also occurs for Circuline. Therefore they decide to come up with a second live release in their career after putting out Circulive::Majestik back in 2018. So it's now time to welcome Circulive: New View. It's a release which is without any doubt a great bundle to own. Why? Because it brings out the audio and video on CD, DVD and Blu-ray in one package. How cool is that!
New View was recorded at the ProgStock Festival October 14th in 2017. It was done in a line up consisting of Andrew Colyer (keyboards / vocals / percussion), Darin Brannon (drums / keyboards), Natalie Brown (lead vocals / percussion), William Spillane (lead vocals / rhythm guitar / percussion), Joel Simches (bass / bass pedals / drums / acoustic guitar) and Alek Darson (lead and rhythm guitars).
The whole release is rather entertaining and gives us a cross-section of their already mentioned two studio albums. There is also one composition written by Sound of Contact, namely Pale Blue Dot. A great version if I may say so. Moreover we have the great Piano Challenge between Andrew Colyer and Darin Brannon. A medley with scraps of classical music as well as excerpts of Tarkus (ELP) and Awaken (Yes). Also nice is The Drum Feature that follows the soundscape-like Forbidden Planet. Instead of just letting the drummer go behind his kit on his percussion, everyone taps, drums or plays on a percussion instrument. Nice for variety and as a show element and is something which Gentle Giant and Lazuli have also done on stage.
For me it is the instrumental parts such as in Fallout Shelter, Forbidden Planet and Stereotypes that appeal to me very much because everyone has mastered their instrument well and radiates pleasure playing. In addition to the pointed but delightful guitar solos, the classical piano playing and the flashy bass playing on the Rickenbacker are particularly striking. Off course it doesn't mean that the songs in which the two singers are included are the worst compositions done. Both singers have strong voices and add really something to the band.
All in all you can say that the keyboards stand out, and you can tell who is holding the strings here. But the guitar work is not neglected either and supported by an excellent rhythm group.
The DVD contains the same material as the CD, but the Blu-ray offers additional video content: concert with audio commentary, backstage and behind the scenes material, official videos, onstage photo slide show and concert poster slide show. So the fan gets a lot of material here and will be thrilled.
In the end Circuline offers the fan the best-off par excellence but also the perfect live album which will obviously delight all the followers of the group but which will also serve as a starting point for all those who want to discover this great American band. This is a real must for fans of Glass Hammer, Renaissance, Magenta and Yes! And of course for lovers of progressive rock in general! Well done indeed! Next time please get to the other side of the Atlantic!!!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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