I have always had a soft spot for gothic metal since my teen years and usually, I prefer it with a symphonic touch. Recently, I came across the French symphonic gothic metal group Fourth Circle again when going through music and figured I would see if they had put out anything new since 2016’s Elements and to my surprise they did. This past March, the group’s third full length Worlds was released through DarkTunes Music Group. Now I was already approaching with high expectations as I really loved the previous two albums and after a four year gap since the last one, would this new album hold up, be a let down or surpass the others?
After listening to a handful of tracks out of order (which I rarely do), I was hooked and gave the whole album a listen from start to finish at least three times by now. This is actually a hard feat as this album has 14 tracks plus two others, one being a 21 minute English audiobook and the other being a 21 minute live set in France. This makes the whole album total an hour and forty-seven minutes which is definitely ambitious for a band to record. Now what makes me able to listen to this for that long and not get bored is the fact the band is not repetitive at all. Each track has it’s own sound, style and flair. One track could be fast and heavy with harsh vocals and the next could be epic and melodic with soaring vocals. Vocalist Audrey Adornato has some massive versatile skills shown throughout this album. From her angelic, almost operatic clean singing down to her bellowing growls and torturous screams, she can do it all. The keyboard melodies throughout Worlds is also spotlighted throughout this album. They dance over the shredding guitars and pummeling drums and stand out on their own unlike how most mixes would have them kind of buried in the mix. I love that it is almost like the keys and Adornato’s voice seemingly intertwine at times.
This album is phenomenal and I can not really point out any flaw. It has very catchy choruses, melodies that will remain within your memory for weeks to come, epic structures and patterns and is just unbelievably professional as in if you were to put this album on and ask me if this band is signed to a big metal label like Century Media or Napalm (Honestly Napalm Records, please sign them, they would fit perfectly on your roster!), I would definitely think so. I could see Fourth Circle on a world tour with bands like Delain, Within Temptation, Stream of Passion, Leaves’ Eyes, Lacuna Coil…the list could go on and on. Worlds surpasses their two previous albums and exceeded my expectations in every way possible. Grab this album if you’re a fan of beautifully written metal that deserves to be up there with the gothic and symphonic metal heavyweights.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Neil Andersen