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Circle Of Light - 2012 Rebirth

ARTIST: Circle Of Light
ALBUM: Rebirth
LABEL: CME Records
YEAR: 2012


LINEUP: Johnny Vines - vocals * Steve Blaze - guitars, backing vocals * Michael 'Maxx' Darby - bass * Danny King - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Circle Of Light * 02 Circus Comes To Town * 03 Sail Into The Heavens * 04 Modern Day Vampire * 05 Rebirth * 06 Rest In Peace * 07 Silent Night * 08 Every Dog Has Its Day * 09 On A Clear Night * 10 Try To Stop Me Now * 11 King Of Beasts



Louisiana's Circle Of Light have connections to Lillian Axe, an earlier rendition thereof it would seem. All the personnel of COL were members prior to the band signing with MCA; with Stevie Blaze sticking with LA for most of his career. Perhaps Circle Of Light should've been called Full Circle, as this is what 'Rebirth' technically is. Songs released by the original line-up and never before recorded according to Blaze. Circle Of Light have now become Blaze's side-project, but I wonder how long before it becomes full-time, considering L.A have been treading water for a number of years now, though this years release wasn't too bad. It's all solid wall-to-wall American hard rock with chugging guitars, while Johnny Vines comes off like a milder version of Warrior's Parramore McCarty.

The Songs
Kicking off with 'Circle Of Light', this one soon gets into a chugging groove, and with the darkened metal on display, I hope everybody bought a torchlight so they can see what it is they are doing! Everybody hopes to have a bit of fun as 'Circus Comes To Town'. Stevie Blaze's riffs are played in slightly different tuning which adds a point of contrast. 'Sail Into The Heavens' stops and starts its way through the 2 minute 40 sec playing time. It has a Motley Crue guitar sound but the arrangement is something different altogether. 'Modern Day Vampire' is straight out of a horror-movie lyric wise, but I can guarantee this one won't ever make a soundtrack. Full of chugging guitars, it has a slightly galloping and hackneyed style that smells 1983 in a big way. I like the title track 'Rebirth'. It has a doom metal flavour, like a churning Black Sabbath through their 80's era. 'Rest In Peace' brings a morbid sense of finality to COL's style of metal. Somehow I don't wanna die just quite yet. 'Silent Night' is not a Christmas Carol.. well, actually yes it is, but not in the vernacular of COL. This one definitely has that Lillian Axe vibe about it. Think 'Ghost Of Winter' but without the overblown majesty of that fantastic track. 'Every Dog Has Its Day' belts along as if it's the early 80's. I'm pretty certain it was sourced from that era, so no surprises there. 'Try To Stop Me Now' takes on an Iron Maiden persona. Quite fast paced, I'm sure Nicko Brain, Steve Harris and the team wouldn't have any problems stepping into COL's footwear for this track. 'King Of Beasts' is the finale here, a strong muscular rocker emphasising the alpha-male mentality represented in the lyrics. Yay for the Lions and the Tigers!

In Summary
It would be easy to conclude that COL are the perfect foil for Lillian Axe. However, I'd prefer this lot to go their own way and create an identity for themselves away from LA's origins. That would depend entirely how Stevie Blaze approaches this in terms of arrangement and songwriting. Seeing as how COL have released this CD with a bit of effort and enthusiasm, I don't think that would be difficult for Mr Blaze.

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