Circles End - Circles End

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 31:18:00

This Norwegian outfit was formed back in 1994 and in the year of 1998 they release their self-financed debut CD. This CD has 5 songs, four tracks are vocal based while one song is an instrumental. Style-wise this is prog rock of high calibre.

The CD starts off with the almost 8 minute long "A Waiting Lotus." The song creates a great atmosphere to it by using both clean and distorted guitars. The vocals of O.E. Johnsen is laidback, but suits the music very well. The song has some very cool instrumental parts and the variation is good. The complexity and technical playing is nicely fit into the song, without any exaggeration. Track two, "Purified Mind," has a very cool opening riff, which is also the basic riff for the great chorus. Again good variation and they show on this song that they're able to make good mellow parts as well as more driving up-tempo technical stuff. There is a good instrumental part in the middle with excellent drumming and guitars. Track three, "Incognito," is an instrumental track and has a good melody to it and is more technical than the other tracks. I especially like the slow part in the song which has some superb melodic guitars, bass and cool drumming technique. The two following songs continue the same style as the two opening tracks. Both good songs. The first thing I noticed about this CD is the superb production. For an independent release the production is outstanding. Every instrument come to its right, crystal clear.

If I were to put my finger on anything, it would be that the vocals of O.E. Johnsen are perhaps a bit "safe". Although the vocals are by no means weak, it would be cool to hear more variation, perhaps adding more power to the songs once in a while. On the other hand I very much enjoyed this piece of plastic, the songs, the variation, the playing and the production is good. And especially the technical stuff and the Rush-like arrangements are top notch and is something they should hold on to. This is a very good debut album, and lovers of quality prog rock should check this one out. These guys have a great potential and I'm eagerly awaiting a full album. Good work guys!

[This review originally appeared May 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
A Waiting Lotus (7:53) / Purified Mind (6:54) / Incognito (4:44) / The Essence of the Insignificant (6:31) / Next to Nothing (5:18)

Omar Emanuel Johnsen - vocals, electric guitars
Trond Lunden - electric guitars
Helge Finne - bass
Ruben Gentekos - synth
Jarle Pettersen - drums

Circles End (ep) (1998)
In Dialogue With The Moon (2001)
Hang On To That Kite (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NO

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website:
Hits: 948
Language: english


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