Review Summary: Every once in a while a CD will come your way that could very change your perception of quality music, 'Burden Of Truth' easily fits into this category.
The Da Vinci Code, a story the centre of much debate, some see it has literary genius, some see it as one man's blasphemous rantings and the rest... well the rest just couldn't really care. However, whichever camp your tent is in, there is no possible way that you could've escaped the intrigue surrounding the book and film over the past couple of years. The Summer of 2006 saw a hoard of programmes stating they would get to the bottom of the mystery, not one did and thankfully these efforts at television seemed to have died down enough for us to worry about other things. Although, it's not just the screen which seems compelled to throw in their two cents, now it is the turn of the music industry, we have already had hard rock legends Saracen tell the story of the Knights Templar with their latest release, 'Vox In Excelso', now thanks to Zak Stevens, his band will tackle the issue of how the descendants of Jesus would cope with finding out exactly who they are, and so, 'Burden Of Truth' came to fruition.
'Burden Of Truth' is the third opus delivered to our ever-grateful ears by Circle II Circle, their first effort, 'Watching The Silence' earned them plenty of praise and the follow up LP, entitled, 'The Middle Of Nowhere' did little to harm the reputation the first album had gained. Now the latest attempt will surely see them take huge strides towards the acclaim that they truly deserve.
On the first listen this album is very good but it is only once you have embarked upon subsequent listens that the true beauty of the album comes to the fore. The opener, 'Who Am I To Be"' does what all good openers should do, leave you craving for the rest of the music to seep into you waiting ears. By the end of the first track you will be more than aware that Zak Stevens is a lead vocalist extraordinaire. Throughout the album he delivers raw, impassioned vocals that are delivered with such precision, it will leave in awe of a genius at work.
'Burden Of Truth' then motors on with majestic keys on the third track, 'Heal You', followed by a pure heavy and dirty intro to the fabulous, 'Revelations'. By this time you will taken back by the sheer brilliance of the twin guitar attack of Evan Christopher and Andrew Lee, with bare emotions pouring from their axes as they tell the story of the album beautifully. This is without mentioning the marvelous solos that show many new bands that it's not all about how many notes you can fit into one minute, don’t get me wrong there are fast solos but there are also slower ones which emphasize the pain the descendants of Christ are truly enduring.
Don't be surprised if at this point of the album things can't get much better and sadly they don't (yet). The next four songs stay on the same level with one or two maybe even dropping below the early standard that had been set. And like so many CDs before it you are beginning to think that it is going to fade off into the distance with a disappointing second half, leaving you to lament the purchase of the album.
Despair not my good man, track nine, 'Sentenced' steadies the ship and gets it to it's destination well ahead of time, this is followed by the awesome title track, 'Burden Of Truth' which has a fantastic three layered vocal arrangement repeated over and over at the end which perfectly conveys the image that the 'burden of truth' is confusing for the descendants, we as the listener are placed firmly into their shoes with these vocals as you are left disorientated and not knowing exactly what to focus on. There is then a superb piano intro and outro for the final track, 'Live As One', with an incredible piece of singing during the outro by Zak Stevens which caps off an exhilarating story, and it does what all great final tracks are supposed to do, leave you with an monster urge to play the entire thing through again.
'Burden Of Truth' is one of those rare albums that you know for sure will go down as a classic album, everything from the stupendous singing, great guitars and the hook-laden tracks will leave you thinking, 'This is music the way it should be'.