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Fourth Circle - 'Elements' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1e/20/ed/fourth-circle-elements-37-1522354650.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 29, 2018    
 
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An enjoyable album and one which will appeal to fans of the genre.

So, Symphonic Rock crosses swords with the elements in, erm... 'Elements', brought to you, Sesame Street style, by the number four. The four natural elements of earth, air, fire and water provide the ingredients for an interaction, resulting in a vast orchestral sound on the fourth album from French outfit Fourth Circle.

Singer Audrey Adornato's dulcet tones recall the template which seems to be an increasingly common one in an ever-expanding Symphonic Hard and Heavy Rock fraternity which comes complete with the contrast of the harmonious female voice. This is more towards the softer and less challenging side of the genre in their dramatic arrangements, not too far from the Delain's of this world in particular, Fourth Circle embellish their driving Hard Rock arrangements with sweeping swathes of strings, and there lies the rub. The Symphonic Rock pond is one which is becoming hugely overpopulated with bands following the steady flow at such a rate that to emerge at the top of the pile there has to be an outstanding or original element.



What they do, they do well. 'Water's Child' stands as the pick of the intense and grandiose epics with an irresistibly catchy hook while 'Crossing The Air' tick's similar boxes, adding a snatch of gratuitous Death Metal growling that contrasts sharply with a seriously Operatic vocal. On the other side of the coin, 'These Walls' takes the pace down to acoustic levels which doesn't work as well despite shifting gear into a soaring guitar solo. This is a similar arrangement applied to several numbers which follow the pattern of soft piano/guitar-led opening, showcasing the Adornato vocal, before building to a climax and instrumental flurries over which she can open her throat adding the occasional devilish scream. Bringing things to a close with 'The Tale' into 'Sleepless Son' they provide an Operatic, Disney nightmare-ish quality, all darkness and Wicked Queen threat.

Ultimately, it's an enjoyable album and one which will appeal to fans of the genre. Add another band to a growing list who might briefly seduce you and give you a fleeting taste of pleasure, yet might not be the one with which to form a long term meaningful relationship.

Mike Ainscoe

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