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The Last Things - Circles and Butterflies CD (album) cover


The Last Things


Progressive Metal

4.30 | 9 ratings

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3 stars "Circles and Butterflies" is the debut and sole full-length studio album by US, Florida based progressive metal act The Last Things. The Last Things were born out of the ashes of thrash metal act Blackkout. Blackkout released one full- length studio album in 1989 called "Ignorance of Man" and then folded. Former Blackkout Lead vocalist/guitarist Richard Elliot IV and former Blackkout bassist Darren McFarland then hooked up with drummer Lou Buffo to form The Last Things. "Circles and Butterflies" was released in 1993 by the short-lived Danish Nordic Metal label. A label also responsible for the release of two other pretty rare progressive metal gems in "Pathways to Wholeness (1995)" by Catharsis and "Age of Elegance (1994)" by Lord Bane.

The music on "Circles and Butterflies" is progressive metal with technical thrash metal leanings. Iīve always thought of the music as a mix of Megadeth, Marillion and to a certain degree Atheist. The influence from the latter can be heard in the first couple of minutes of "Circle of Wills" (on a sitenote itīs interesting that bassist Darren McFarland also shortly played with Atheist). "Circles and Butterflies" is divided into two parts. The first six tracks are a concept story where the tracks seque into each other while the five last tracks are individual songs. The sound quality changes between the two sections so itīs unfortunately obvious that the songs were recorded at different sessions. The concept part of the album has the best sound production while the sound production on the last five tracks on the album isnīt as powerful as the first part. So the last part of the album unfortunately comes off sounding a bit weak compared to the first part. Itīs a minor complaint but enough to drag my rating down slightly. The album features lots of technical/progressive thrash metal riffing but also many calmer atmospheric parts and some melodic progressive metal parts. Main composer Richard Elliot IV is a multi-instrumentalist and in addition to handling vocals, guitars and keyboards he also plays the flute and the very non-metal instrument bagpipes on the album. All three members of the lineup are technically skilled musicians and their playing on this album is quite accomplished. Now I made a reference to Marillion earlier in the review and that reference is based on the more mellow beautiful parts in the music. While Richard Elliot IV can certainly deliver a powerful thrashy vocal he is also capable of singing much softer styled vocals. He is actully quite close in style to Fish which is why I canīt help thinking about Marillion (especially around "Misplaced Childhood (1985)"). So maybe I should call the music neo progressive technical thrash metal (Love that tag LOL).

"Circles and Butterflies" is quite a unique progressive metal album and if all songs on the album had been of the high quality of the concept part of the album I would have given the album a 4 star (80%) rating. Unfortunately the last couple of songs on the album drag my rating down to a 3.5 star (70%) rating (I wish they would have made the first part of the album into an EP instead). I still find "Circles and Butterflies" highly recommendable to fans of progressive metal with technical thrash metal leanings.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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