12 years since the beginning of Zak Stevens’ journey with Circle II Circle and it seems that the American power metal outfit has come up –all these years- with a winning and qualitative formula that ideally blends the classic Savatage style with a more modern twist in there. The fans support their efforts and “Reign of Darkness” is not the exception to the rule as Circle II Circle delivers once again a remarkable record destined to monopolize the interest of the band’s fan base for the months to come. Truth be told here; I will always be partial to the first couple of offerings by Circle II Circle which I strongly believe are classic metal albums.
Stevens, fresh from the recent Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra reunion show in Wacken, treats us with a darker, a more sinister if you prefer, side of Circle II Circle with songs that balances over the symphonic and the more traditional side of the heavy metal genre. There are those melodic moments with the magnificent “Untold Dreams”, the modern touch of “Victim of the Night”, the imposing “Ghost of the Devil” and the closing majestic cut “Solitary Rain” which is by far the highlight of the album as it brings in mind those magic Sava-moments…just imagine something in between “Believe” and “Alone You Breathe”! Wouldn’t it be really special if Savatage reunited and Jon Oliva would sing together with Zak once again…who knows?
All in all, “Reign of Darkness” is yet another impressive addition to the illustrious Circle II Circle catalogue and I believe that it would satisfy even the most reserved listener.
Highlight: We talked with Zak Stevens in an interview that we will publish on Rockpages in the coming weeks.