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Norwegian power metal unit Circus Maximus certainly display a metallic majesty on ISOLATE, the group's sophomore effort. The nine-track disc hits all of the heights and reaches to the depths of progressive metal, as the versatile vocals and rousing keyboards allow the rock solid guitars enough room to shred around an air-tight rhythm section. Sounding very similar to a concoction of Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Katatonia, tracks like "Wither" alternate between elegant piano rock and brooding metal while "Mouth of Madness" evokes the theatrics of Queensryche with an epic flare not uncommon in bands like Helloween. The complete Circus Maximus experience is one that fans of power and progressive metal should get accustomed to, as ISOLATE exudes the style and songwriting to help thrust this act into the next level.
- Mike SOS