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Jay Parmar - 'Circle Of Fire' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     August 11, 2012    
 
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An album of interesting riffs and solos that is definitely rooted in the 80s.

Guitarist Jay Parmar will no doubt be known to some of you for his former touring role with Eden's Curse, but if you delve back a little further you would discover a 2005 instrumental album called 'Strange Day' which highlighted a talented player influenced by Vai, Satriani, and most obviously, George Lynch. This time Jay has gone for straight-ahead hard rock with vocals and has enlisted help from vocalists Carsten 'Lizard' Schulz, Tim Wallace, Andreas Novak and Pete Newdeck (who also plays drums), whilst Parmar himself handles all guitar, bass and keyboard duties as well as singing on one track.

'Circle Of Fire' is certainly an album of interesting riffs and solos and is definitely rooted in the 80s, Parmar usually writing each song with the singer who sings on it. There are four great songs with Eden's Curse/Tainted Nation man Pete Newdeck that are all among the highlights, from the strident opener 'Walking In Circles' and the neat vocal lines and Satriani-esque guitar shredding of 'You're Not Alone', to the subtly structured 'Now You're Gone' and the melodic hard rocker 'Stop Laughing'. Carsten Schulz gets four songs too, his rougher vocals blend with some great melodic leads on 'Lost In You' and infectious title track, with both 'Hell Is The Place' and 'Guilty' differing in speed but both heavily influenced by Dokken, right down to the Lynch guitar solos.

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Tim Wallace is a new name to me but his vocals on 'The Dragon' and particularly 'Harms Length' fit perfectly with Jay's exuberant riffs and solos, whilst renowned AOR solo artist and new House Of Shakira singer Andreas Novak wraps his more subtle tones around the most melodic track, 'Test Of Time'. It's musical chairs on the moody bonus track 'When Angels Fly', with Parmar handling the vocals adequately himself, whilst the George Lynch-like solos over an atmospheric Indian groove are this time mostly played by Mr. Lynch himself. There are times when the lack of a recording budget becomes an issue, especially in the flat drum sound, but the fact that this has been released digitally by Steve Vai's label tells you that there's quality playing and songwriting here. For a first attempt at this kind of album it exceeds all expectations.

Phil Ashcroft

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