Album Review of
Circulive:Newview (Live at Progstock)

Written by Robert Silverstein
December 28, 2020 - 3:37pm EST
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Keyboardist and composer Andrew Colyer made a lot of people happy with his 2020 solo album, his third called Mists Of Time. That all-instrumental album is very much rooted in the New Age and neoclassical instrumental music realm, yet it’s also worth noting Andrew’s works in the New York-based progressive rock band Circuline. Following studio albums Return (2015) and Counterpoint (2016), in 2018 Circuline released their first CD/DVD called CircuLive::Majestik, which featured the band live in concert at the RoSfest festival. In 2020 Circuline returned with yet another live set, a wonderful, 77-minute release entitled Circulive: New View, released in 2020 as a 3-disc set on Inner Nova Music. Essentially an audio/video document of Circuline’s appearance at the International ProgStock Festival on October 14, 2017, Circulive: New View, captures Circuline in all their glory, performing a range of instrumental rock and vocal-based prog-rock tracks. Performed before an audience of progressive music fans, this live-in-concert package contains live versions of tracks selected from the two Circuline studio albums with a couple added surprises and, it's also worth noting that fifty percent of the material is different from the Majestik release, plus the band sounds fully supercharged thanks to the addition of a hot new lead guitarist and bass player. The 3 discs on this package include a CD, a DVD and a Blu-ray, with bonus video content featured only on the Blu-ray disc. With Andrew’s array of keyboards leading the sonic attack, Circulive: New View features a combination of stellar performances from Andrew and his bandmates in Circuline, including his co-composing bandmate Darin Brannon (drums, keyboards), Natalie Brown (lead vocals), William “Billy” Spillane (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Joel Simches (bass) and Alek Darson (lead and rhythm guitars). After listening to and viewing Circulive: New View, it's clear that calling Circuline an exciting in-concert band would be an understatement. With their shared lead vocals and magnetic stage presence, Ms. Brown and Billy Spillane both make appealing lead singers, with Andrew supplying his own vocals as well. Darin Brannon is an outstanding rock drummer, while his keyboard skills are equally amazing, as evidenced on a dueling, keyboard-friendly track here called “Piano Challenge”, featuring an electrifying duet with him and Andrew Colyer. The band's new guitarist Alek Darson coaxes a range of electrifying sounds from his instrument while Joel Simches plays his left-handed electric bass with much drive. Anyone that thought Andrew Colyer was just a solo New Age instrumental music artist is well advised to check out the driving, prog-rock energy of Circuline on this 2020 live-in-concert release. Listening to Circulive: New View is great but watching the DVD or Blu-ray is clearly the optimum way to witness the innovative prog-rock sound of Circuline in all its glory.