Circle of Fate
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Circle of Fate

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"An Interview with Danny Charatin And Michele Caruso Of Circle Of FatePosted on July 3rd, 2009 by Simon Barrett in Interview, Music Reviews."

Circle Of Fate are a Chicago based band that has been around for a decade. Like so many fabulous bands they are looking for that one break into the big time. They have just released a new album Back To Life, and I think this may well be that big break they are seeking.

When I heard this album I loved it. Yes it is certainly rock, but it has something more to it, some great lyrics, and some very fine guitar work behind them. I don’t with to put a hex on their luck, but to my ear I would go so far as to claim that I hear strains of Prog in their songs. And Prog is one of my favorite genres. In fact I’ll go out on a limb and create a whole new music genre for a couple of their tracks Prog Pop!

Their earlier works had contained some tinges, or maybe, hints of metal, Back To Life has dropped that aspect, instead we have a very bright and vibrant album that is filled with some wonderful tracks.

I am long in the tooth in the music world, oops, I am long in the tooth with the world in general. If you look at almost any album released in the past 40 years, you find that of the 10 or 12 tracks, a third are stars, a third are OK, and a third are fillers.

Circle Of Fate have broken that general rule, Back To Life is an album with 10 world class tracks on it. If they can get this album in front of the right people, they will be on every rock and pop music radio station in the country.

One track in particular My Religion has huge potential, it appeals to the rock, pop, and prog communities, this is a very, very rare situation.

I managed to catch up with the backbones of Circle Of Fate, lead guitarist Danny Charatin and vocalist Michele Caruso to talk about Circle Of Fate and this wonderful new album Back To Life.

You can listen to the whole interview here, and you will also get to listen to My Religion, and another equally exciting track What If. I also encourage you to check out their web site and their MySpace page. In fact, I encourage you to just rush out and buy this CD!

Simon Barrett - Simon Barrett


"Circle of Fate: Back to Life: Our Take"

Chicago hard rock band Circle of Fate has been around for about ten years or so now and have been making a name for themselves around the region. Since 2001 the group has put out albums on a fairly regular basis, and with their fourth full length Back to Life they are looking to gain more exposure nationwide. And thanks to their great hooks and melodic female vocalist, they may just find the big break that they are looking for.

The instrumentalists of Circle of Fate seem to be pulling from a variety of different influences, though all of them are based within the rock genre. For the majority of the album the band makes use of familiar hard rock riffs that bring to mind groups such as Flotsam and Jetsam and even Alice in Chains at times. But the instrumentalists don’t stop there, as there are also tracks that have a more gothic rock feel to them (though as you might expect this group doesn’t use keyboards at all), and there are also some moments that have much more melodic guitar work and approach the world of alternative rock. This gives Back to Life quite a deal of variety but as they all have a similar base all of the material feels connected. I would like to see the group branch out even more in the future as they seem to have the potential to explore even more than they have here, but overall the hooks on this disc make it one of the more memorable hard rock albums in recent memory.

As I mentioned earlier, Circle of Fate’s music revolves around melodic female vocals, and their singer Michele has a great voice that is able to hit a decent level of pitches. Her standard pitch is fairly mid range, but at times she is able to extend it almost a whole octave higher and offer listeners some great melodies. The group also appears to have used some production tricks on some of the songs, as there are times when Michele loops her vocals to create an echo effect or create harmonies. She also has a ton of energy throughout Back to Life and despite the fact that her singing style is fairly clean and melodic there are quite a few moments where the vocals are in your face and holding your attention. And considering that the mainstream hard rock world is currently filled with bands that have male leads with similar pitches, it seems likely that Circle of Fate could stand out if given the right amount of exposure.



Back to Life is an album that has plenty to like, and will hopefully get Circle of Fate the attention that they deserve. There is still more room for the band to branch out and try new things, but what they offer on this disc is still very catchy and has some surprises for listeners who may go in expecting every track to sound the same. If you like hard rock and are getting sick of the fact that all of the current commercial names sound similar to one another, consider turning your attention to the underground/independent circuit and giving this band your support.
http://www.circleoffate.net

Chris Dahlberg
July 27, 2009 - Cosmos Gaming/Chris Dahlberg


"Circle of Fate Album Review Sept. 2009"

Circle of Fate "Back To Life" (circleoffate.net) Will be the biggest band out of Chicago since the Smashing Pumpkins, and it will happen so soon they will play at the next Superbowl! Take this magazine out in January and see if I'm right! See, I told you! - Rocktober Magazine (Chicago, IL)


"Circle of Fate - Back to Life (2009)"

Background
Chicago band Circle of Fate are a new name to me, but this female fronted combo have been in the business for a good decade or so. They've just delivered their fourth album "Back to Life", and it's obvious this band are a tight combination. It's more metal than hard rock, but wouldn't give a band like Benedictum any cause for concern. The two leading lights are singer Michele Caruso and riff master Danny Charatin, formerly of metal outfit Ion Vein. They mix up their sound with straight-ahead metal with some progressive streaks as well, though not progressive enough to chop/change their style with Dream Theater like annoyance. Thankfully it's all pretty mainstream, but I would say that without the chopping guitars from Charatin, Circle of Fate could very well be swimming in a sea of mediocrity. They don't, suffice to say.
The Songs
At just 40 minutes playing time, you'll be whizzing through these tracks in next to no time. Charatin lays down some grinding guitars on the opener "Sanctify Me", it's a powerful rhythmic layer with Caruso warbling over the top. "Skeletons" tends toward the modern rock style of a band like Infernophonic for instance, whereas "My Religion" has been described by producer Larry Sturm as "it has all of the ingredients of a hit song". Certainly there is a faint touch of Evanescence about it. Not bad, but I think I prefer the heavier stuff, which is "What If" delivers, again some huge riffs spiraling off Mr. Charatin's fretboard. "Broke My Heart" is more industrious fare, while "Unshattered" could be a milder Benedictum without the OTT vocals of the lovely Veronica Freeman. "Your Gone" starts out with some progressive tendencies, but these soon make way for heavy slabs of rhythm guitar and stinging leads. My fave track here is the heavy as horses "Pour Me A Drink", a rabble rousing riff laden piece, which is followed by the power ballad "U Fill The Void" - interestingly, no solos on this one. Closing out with "All About You", the acoustic guitar is held for the intro and verses, while the electrics blaze through on the choruses.
In Summary
Given a few spins, this one will grow on you. It's a good tradesmen like performance highlighting Caruso's vocal and Charatin's rather tasty guitar playing. Not sure what is in the pipeline for Circle of Fate, but hopefully they can move beyond their local Chicago base and start building some popularity elsewhere. Keep an eye on this outfit for sure! - Glory Daze Music Magazine


"Circle of Fate in Review"

Circle of Fate "Back To Life" (circleoffate.net) Will be the biggest band out of Chicago since the Smashing Pumpkins, and it will happen so soon they will play at the next Superbowl! Take this magazine out in January and see if I'm right! See, I told you! - Roctober Magazine


"Da Tongue Magazine Review"

Circle of Fate: Sexy and Hard - All in One
You should have taken a seat at Legends Music Cafe this past Saturday. I heard
their tracks on myspace and thought I had enough to say about them. I was wrong.
Legends Music Cafe has the capacity of 250 people. Legends of Addison Illinois was
half full as people started trickling in after 10:30. When Circle of Fate went on the
set I didn’t know what to expect seeing them live for the first time. All I can tell you
is that even though the crowd was small, it got loud enough to make drivers look to
see if the Smashing Pumpkins were playing! Their manager presented me with
a promotional CD and right away I knew this wasa band that expects to be around
for a while..........a long while. You have to check out the song Enabler. It is one of
my favorites and has more than 10 thousand plays on Myspace. The band has played
shows at The Hard Rock Cafe, The Elbo Room, Shark City, Sammy Ks, Penny Road
Pub, NorthBeach, and OMally’s, Hi- Tops etc.The band was also sponsored by
Budweiser for a show at Molly Malones. After about one year in the studio they had
finished their second C.D. titled: Inner Sanctum. Imagine getting a front row seat
to see Smashing Pumpkins or Avril Lavigne right smack in the middle of your
backyard. The Legends Music Cafe provides an up close and personal view of bands
that come through. You literally cant get a bad seat unless you watch from outside!!

Circle of Fate is no cover band
Michel, who is the lead vocalist, has this playful yet sexy attitude that flirts with the
crowd. Danny (lead guitar) to the left plays the guitar good enough to give Motley
Crew a call. Dan (far left in upper photo) on the bass is simply sweet enough
said.Last but not least, the new drummer Ethon tried to tear the damn skins off the
drum set. He was only warming up around 10:30 and I could clearly see why there
was a cover to hear this guy play. Circle of Fate will be on the DaTongue website in
September when we bring you the exclusive interview.
For now check out Circle of Fate at www.circleoffate.net

Sincerely,
Datongue Entertainment
email: szou@datongue.com
web: http://www.datongue.com
www.DaTongue.com | Chicago | IL | 60608
- Da Tongue Magazine


"Circle of Fate Album Review"

The Chicago based band, Circle of Fate was officially formed 10 years ago and Back to Life is the band’s fourth release and first since 2006. The and is currently comprised of Michel Caruso on lead vocals, Danny Charatin on lead guitar, & vocals, Dan Thompson, bass & vocals and Ethon Burns on drums/ percussion .The band’s bio lists a wide range of influences which are evident throughout this disc. These influences include Pat Benetar, Joan Jett, Heart, Dream Theater, Journey, Joe Satriani, Iron Maiden, Porcupine Tree, Steve Vai, Nickelback and Prince just to name just a few.

Back to Life can best be described as a metal record with great power pop sensibilities. It is chock full of catchy melodies and big hooks all anchored by a killer rhythm section. Produced by Larry Sturm, who has worked with such diverse artists as Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige and Disturbed, the album is full of catchy melodies and hooks without sacrificing any of its harder edges. And while Caruso’s voice may be the star of the proceedings, it is certainly not the whole story. Overall, the band is tight, seamlessly transitioning from hard, metallic riffing to melodic choruses and killer instrumental work. In particular, their ability to change tempo within a song keeps the listener anticipating their next move.

Speaking of Caruso’s voice, it’s inevitable that most female rockers will be compared to Pat Benatar at some point in their career simply because of their gender. However in the case of Michel Caruso, it’s a case of legitimate praise, as her vocal style and range actually sound quite a bit like the woman who helped legitimatize the female role in hard rock. In particular, “Skeletons” and “Unshattered” would feel right at home on Crimes of Passion. Michel however is far from a Pat Benatar clone as she makes every song on the album her own, be it the through raw emotion of “You Broke my Heart” or the attitude displayed on “What If.”

The album opens with” Sanctity,” a high energy modern rocker that is highlighted by Michel’s moody and understated vocals. The middle of the track breaks nicely into some instrumental and vocal interplay before diving back into the main verse with a killer riff. The vocal effects are particularly effective and really lift the track beyond the ordinary. The album really kicks into high gear with the power pop of “Skeletons,” a great up tempo rocker that combines the melody of a great pop song with some heavy riffs. It’s carried along by some fine bass work and a killer post chorus. If you’re not singing along and playing air guitar after the second listen, then relegate yourself to listening to Mariah Carey.

The band follows this up with the 1st single off the album, “My Religion” which opens with some Maiden like guitar work laid under Michel’s pop like vocals (think Missing Persons on steroids). The track quickly builds momentum around the work of the rhythm section into a full blown rocker, highlighted by a driving guitar riff The light weight vocal and guitar approach of the into belay some of the dark nature of the lyrics.

“What If” is all attitude, opening with Michel’s snarling vocals and driven by a latter day Motley like riff. Michel brings her vocals down an octave to really match the intensity of the driving instrumental track before cranking it up during the chorus, which uses a great tempo change that highlights the abilities of the band as a whole. This punkish track is countered by the raw emotion of “You Broke My Heart” with Michel displaying total vulnerability in her vocal performance without a hint of schmaltz or sappiness. Only great singers can convey anger and vulnerability in the same song without it sounding contrived and Michel does it with ease.

The opening of “Unshattered” comes closest to falling victim to love song cliché; however that danger is crushed with the count of 2, 3, 4 as the song morphs into a killer bluesy based riff that is one of the highlights of the album. It’s a down and dirty mid tempo riff that just pulls the listener in. The chorus is followed by some great instrumental work that eschews the normal solo in favor of ome great instrumental work by the entire band.

“Your Gone” starts out with an almost Rush like feel, great bass work with some excellent drum fills before exploding in to another big riff. The song uses some electronic play on the vocals to create an almost ethereal feel to the pre-chorus. Michel ‘s your gone be gone is a statement for all modern women, no longer lamenting lost love, but dealing with reality. The song contains some of the best solo work on the album, matching the vocal intensity note for note. “Pour Me A Drink” is almost like a breather in the proceedings, and while a solid track it’s missing some of the elements that make the prior tracks so strong. “Fill the Void” puts the band back on solid ground, and it a longer tune that evolves constantly over its five minute plus running time. While opening with some light vocals and intricate guitar work, it’s a song you can feel waiting to erupt. And erupt it does into a song built around a driving riff and a chorus that allows her to expand her vocal range and style. The post chorus features some excellent vocal work with Michel and the band playing off each other over some subdued guitar fingereing The album closes with the quick hitter.

“It’s All Bout You,” an almost Melissa Etheridge inspired track that contains the melody of country, the attitude of punk and a riff that’s all metal. An eclectic mix that in the hands of lesser performers could be a disaster, instead it closes the album in fine fashion.

Label: Independent

Track Listing;
1) Sanctify
2) Skeletons
3) My Religion
4) What If
5) Broke my Heart
6) Unshattered
7) Your Gone
8 Pour Me a Drink
9) Fill The Void
10) It’s All About you

HRH Rating: 9/10
- by Ken Mac Vicar/Hard Rock Haven


"Back to Life Album Review2"

This is some melodic rock with a touch of metal with a female singer. She has a good voice and does not annoy me like a lot of other female singers do when they try to sing in metal bands. Her voice sort of sucked me in on some of the track and the tunes are good to solid rock n roll/metal numbers that will get your foot tapping or head moving in some spots. The production is good as everything is heard and nothing is buried. I could see a label snatching this band up. - Metal Core Fan Zine/Chris Forbes


"Circle of Fate Album Review3"

On Back To Life, female-fronted Chicago rockers Circle Of Fate pick up where the left of from 2006's Dawn Of A New Era delivering intense, heavy melodic hard rock. With few exceptions, the songs of Back To Life pound with heavy riffs and shudder with enough distortion to edge close to heavy metal, or at the very least modern hard rock. Catch a glimpse of Danny Charatin's beefy bouncer frame with his ham-fisted fingers wrapped around the neck of his guitar and you may wonder how far away Circle Of Fate is from becoming another Slayer. It'll probably never happen. With Michele Caruso on lead, Circle Of Fate is closer to Pat Benetar if she had gotten heavier with meat hook guitar chops and lost some melody and range; Back To Life is quite heavy rock.

Listening to Back To Life one cannot ignore the heavy riffed intensity. It permeates the disc like the muted production that often muffles Ms. Caruso's vocals. Yet, within there are true moments of glory. Skeletons, for instance, is blessed with a great bass line and performance. My Religion delivers a heavy rock and roll style groove with a quicker pace under girding one of Caruso and Charatin's finer performances. The near metal motif arises on What If and on the better heavy rocker Your Gone which swings between intensity and subtlety. Back To Life finishes with the abnormally catchy and melodic (as compared with the rest of the album) It's All About You where Michele shines the brightest. If they still existed with some meaningfulness, this song has single written all over it.

Chicago's Circle Of Fate's Back To Life delivers heavy melodic hard rock with modern rock intensity equaled in fervor by Michelle Caruso's whiskey and leather vocal performance. As Circle Of Fate brings on their heavy repertoire, they may be one best band's blending classic hard rock sensibility with modern rock trends, and that in itself is quite an accomplishment. Recommended!
- Dangerdog Music Reviews


"Circle of Fate: Back to Life"

Female fronted modern metal that comes across as both slick and equally listenable. There is no Amy Lee-esque wobbling or an attempt to out metal-core the lads with this release. This is quite simply driving metal that is done with lots of feeling and ability. It will strike no one listening as a surprise that they have been kicking around for 10 years, originating from Chicago.

Michele Caruso certainly has the chops and the looks to get her into the big-leagues of female-fronted metal. The great thing about this band is the fact that they know how to deliver in spades. Considering I really never heard of them before I got this in the post, its quite a pleasant surprise to find they are this good.

From the opening track “Sanctity” to the bitchy “Its All About You” that finished off the album this is reliable consistent metal. I would not be surprised in the slightest if this release takes the band to the next level of their career. Surely on the basis of this release, they deserve any breaks they get. If you are into good metal delivered well, then check this lot out soonest, you will be glad you did. - Marty Dodge


Discography

"Shades of Gray" (Album) - 2000
"Inner Sanctum" (Album) - 2003
"Dawn of a New Era" (Album) - 2006
"Back to Life" (Album) - 2009

Photos

Bio

The Chicago based band was officially formed ten years ago and consists of four musicians with the skills, dedication, and years of experience in various different settings. The music is original. The catchy melodies and hooky rhythms are attracting people of all different age groups and musical tastes. The songs have captivated audiences all over the world.