After a break of two or so years former SAVATAGE front man Zak Stevens returns with a new band and quite simply delivers a new SAVATAGE album albeit under a solo guise. The song writing credentials of both Jon Olivia and Chris Caffery further strengthens the SAVATAGE connection and it's not surprising that this album is a killer.
Enveloping the 'TAGE sound from the "Edge Of Thorns"/"Handful Of Rain" days Stevens' has master minded one of the best debut releases this year. This record has got everything the discerning SAVATAGE fan could ever wish for: Soaring vocals, grand choruses, expert arrangements and damn fine songs. Just what you've come to expect from them over the years.
Songs such as "Watching In Silence", "Walls" and "The Circle" are glorious reminders of Stevens' time in SAVATAGE: high brow and pompous slices of brilliantly crafted Metal with a strong commercial edge and shows how his new band could easily go all the way to the top with this release.
CIRCLE II CIRCLE is not SAVATAGE but there again they contain the essential ingredients of classy, technical Metal and Hard Rock, which SAVATAGE have championed in their lengthy career. Bets please that this debut offering tops many a listeners favourite pile this year.
Outstanding stuff. (Online July 3, 2003)