Circle II Circle - Watching In Silence
Vocalist Zak Stevens left Savatage in the year 2000 in order to get more time to spend with his family, but now he returns to the stage with his new band Circle II Circle. And it bears a clear mark of Savatage running straight through Watching In Silence which might not be so strange since Jon Oliva and Chris Caffery from, that's right, Savatage helps out with the song writing on the debut from Circle II Circle.
And what a debut then, even if it is more toned down and more plain than Savatage, the most of what's typical for Savatage is included, it has probably the most in common with Dead Winter Dead (1995). With the last track on the album, Fields Of Sorrow, you get one of these songs with extreme multiple vocal-lines, such as Chance (Edge Of Thorns), One Child (Dead Winter Dead) or Morphine Child (Poets & Madmen), the ones that are more or less standard on an album from Savatage in these days.
I have a hard time finding songs that stick out from the rest on the album and is impressed by what high quality Watching In Silence holds straight through the entire album, with some occasional exception good ones as well as bad ones. One of the good exceptions is the track Into The Wind, a powerful and moody song with a great chorus that rises a little above the rest, and one of the bad is the track Lies that is a bit rough around the edges with the melodies missing, apart from that it's a constant flow of high quality.
If you like Savatage you won't be disappointed with Circle II Circle, and if you found the period with Zak Stevens the best of Savatage you will probably cheer with delightful joy.