The Half-Light Symphony [EP] Review

artist: Battle Circus date: 12/22/2011 category: compact discs
Battle Circus: The Half-Light Symphony [EP]
Released: Oct 28, 2007
Genre: Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock
Label: Self-released
Number Of Tracks: 4
This EP shares much in common with the bands eponymous debut album with a few minor differences in sound. The EP achieves everything I look for in music, with a very serious nature to it.
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 9.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.7 
 Users rating:
 10 
 Votes:
 3 
review (1) 1 comment vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
The Half-Light Symphony [EP] Reviewed by: Emperor's Child, on december 22, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This EP shares much in common with the bands eponymous debut album with a few minor differences in sound. Notably all of the songs are about 10 minutes in length, bringing the EP's running time to over 40 minutes. The EP also follows a concept based around an apocalypse, leaving the EP in four distinct movements: The first movement, "Anthem For A Doomed Youth", deals with a more optimistic look at what opportunities the apocalypse brings to save the world. As such, the song has a suitably loud rock sound that climaxes around the 8 minute mark before transitioning into the second song. The second movement, "Love In A Fallout Shelter", has a more grim tone, portrayed by use of the D harmonic minor scale. The main section of the song deals with how (or whether) mankind will survive. It details the nature of the post-apocalyptic world as savaged by nuclear war. It finishes with a set of transmissions that lead into the third movement. The third movement, "Moonlight Nostalgia", as the name suggests looks back at the world before the apocalypse, supported by a more orchestral sound. The main section plays before an outro plays that fades out before the last movement kicks in. The fourth (and last) movement, "Mossman's Epoch", is best described as loud. As an instrumental it has a very epic nature about it, played in Drop D tuning. Explained in a speech half way through by "Philip K Mossman", the song personifies darwinian evolution taking over technology again, as mankind is brought back to basics. The last section references the first part of the album with some of the lyrics over different music before a final burst of loud music similar to the first section. Similar in style to the loud alternative metal sound of Muse's second album, it has a more mature sound with dashes of Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree creating a more "proggy" sound. A more rewarding listen, it is consequently lacks a mainstream sound that might deter some listeners. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are quite simply beautiful, extra marks gained by their conceptual nature. As the album shifts from loud or anthemic to mellow or melancholic quite regularly, the lyrics are made to reflect this and are surprisingly diverse: "We'll save the world for all the boys and girls" "Will you stumble and rust? And crumble to dust?" - "Anthem For A Doomed Youth" "And then we will see what the thousands found underground" "Forced us down with bombshell love. Just starting to like it" - "Love In A Fallout Shelter" The delivery of the lyrics for such a young band is enough for me to warrant awarding a 10 here. // 10

Overall Impression: Comparing to other albums I would say it has most similarities to albums such as "Fear Of A Blank Planet" by Porcupine Tree and "Origin Of Symmetry" by Muse (as stated earlier). Each song has it's own place on the EP and it's the sort of recording that is best listened to in its entirety, so I can't really pick a favourite, though the songs are fairly diverse anyway. The EP achieves everything I look for in music, with a very serious nature to it. If it was stolen I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. It's worth importing from New Zealand but you can give it a test listen on Bandcamp. I shouldn't lose it because I couldn't imagine how I'd misplace such an outstanding album. // 10

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