Originally reviewed here.
Stevens was not really my favorite singer that Savatage has had. Part of that is perhaps due to the fact that I generally liked the music better on the albums with Jon Oliva as vocalist. Stevens is a decent vocalist, he just never really clicked with me on the later era Savatage material. On this album though he sounds great. He has a powerful voice with a lot of character in it. He is definitely the best part of this album.
As far as the rest of the album, this is a standard album straddling the border between hard rock and American power metal. The band's focus is on creating well-crafted and catchy songs without a lot of filler or superfluous music that is out of place in the songs. Circle II Circle do have some longer songs on this album, and the album is quite lengthy reaching 70 minutes, but everything flows together reasonably well.
The only real problem is that the album gets boring. At 70 minutes, it better be really good at keeping attention from drifting and it just does not do a real good job at that. Some of the individual songs are certainly standouts and serve to draw the attention back, but it drifts in other parts. The music is typically mid-paced with some faster tracks here and there and the occasional ballad.
All told this is not appreciably different than the later era Savatage material, other than not being as cinematic. This is just a straightforward, hard-rocking album, but its inability to hold the listener's attention makes it a little tedious.