With an artistry and drive that is never less than absorbing the new album from talented guitarist Jay Parmar gives a pleasure as immense and deep as the sounds and ability which pours from it. Circle Of Fire brings a fresh and eager breath to classic metal and hard rock without the need for indulgences and spurious tricks and charms. The album is honest, well crafted and a feast for any rock favoured ear. From every corner of its expressive might the release fires up the heart with instinctive creativity and mouth watering melodies. If a guitar gets you all riled up then the impressive invention of Parmar will have you drooling like a sex starved teenager.
To be honest generally the genre of music which Parmar confidently walks has a hard time gaining favour with these ears but then most releases are not as gloriously captivating and dazzling yet restrained as Circle Of Fire. Whereas many bring every trick they have out to window dress and show off their songs, here the music is simply veracious rock n roll created with thought and a surety which needs no over blown musical theatrics. It is a release that exudes charm and explosive sounds to throw any music fan into a frenzy.
Having been playing the guitar for over twenty years Parmar shows a flare and understanding of limits and owns a control that is refreshing and smart. Inspired by the likes of Iron Maiden, Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix, and Steve Vai, whose label Digital Nations Circle Of Fire is released upon, Parmar has infused these distinct influences into his own unique style to become a musician who is rounded and imaginative. Circle Of Fire follows his previous releases Will Play For Lynch– A George Lynch Tribute (2003) and solo instrumental album Strange Day (2005)as well as his work with Eden’s Curse live and in the studio, and is in his own words “… a change of direction and sounds awesome!”, something it is impossible to argue with. From the skill and ingenuity of Parmar alone the album would be an essential listen but with the added flavoursome skills of an array of excellent artists Circle Of Fire is all your Birthdays rolled into one.
The album includes the likes of Pete Newdeck (Eden’s Curse/Tainted Nations) who not only played drums but stepped into the vocalist spot on some songs, guest vocals from Carsten Schultz (Evidence One), Andreas Novak (House of Shakira/Mind’s Eye), and Tim Wallace, and solos from Mike Rotella plus the extra treat on the CD version of George Lynch (Lynch Mob/Souls of We/Dokken). Lynch was a major love and influence for Parmar and one can only imagine the buzz his contribution to the song When Angels Cry gave. The song is pure quality and worthy of being more than a bonus track, its Motherjane sound oozing class and mesmeric grace.
From start to finish the album is highly consistent, throwing out compulsive riffs and dazzling melodic play like confetti but with a certainly, thought, and perfection that makes randomness a non starter and as mentioned the craft involved is beyond question and inspiring. If there can be highlights on an album this good, personally they are songs like Walking In Circles and Lost In You. Both flow and explore the senses upon a pulsating riff which are unrelenting in their desire to stir up their recipients. The first of the two has a metal riff that is harsh and intimidating contrasting the great surrounding harmonies and incisive melodies whilst the latter offers a riff that grinds and niggles away at the ear with a persistence which will not be denied.
Adding the majestic power of Now You’re Gone where Newdeck shows we need to hear more of his emotive and great vocals, and the expressive beauty of Test Of Time, the album has everything a true rock fan could wish for. There is not one song that does not offer something different and is as equally vital and glorious as those mentioned, all combining to form an album that takes the heart into its own.
Circle Of Fire is a beacon in what generally feels like a wealth of over played and self centred similar styled albums. With Jay Parmar you only get honesty and organic heartfelt music, oh and wonderful sounds that light up each and every day.