JAY PARMAR – Circle Of Fire (2012)


Guitarist JAY PARMAR returns with his 2nd studio release titled “Circle Of Fire” on Steve Vai’s label Digital Nations.

I never heard his debut, and at first glance thought that I was going to be reviewing an instrumental / shred album. Not at all. Don’t get me wrong, the guitar playing and overall music shreds on this CD without a doubt.

However, there is more of a full band collaboration I’m listening to here.

Jay’s hard work and networking ability has led him to becoming friends with fellow musicians all of whom contributed to “Circle Of Fire”.

We have here Carsten Lizard-Schulz (Evidence One, Paradise Inc), Andreas Novak (House Of Shakira, Mind’s Eye), Pete Newdeck (Eden’s Curse, Tainted Nations), Tim Wallace, Mike Rotella and Legendary guitarist George Lynch, and to be honest, this material sounds like an oiled machine band.

“Circle Of Fire” has a total of 12 fiery songs, all of which preserves a unified feel even though there are different singers throughout the CD.

With three notable vocalists on the album and some very good lead vocals from Jay himself, perhaps the most surprising thing in this department is to listen the excellent session drummer Pete Newdeck handling lead vocals as well, and he really has a talent for singing Hard Rock in a great way!

Let me tell you, electric guitar freaks will love this album, but also the most demanding Melodic Hard Rock fans. I totally dig the catchy hammering riffs, pounding rhythms, lightening slick flashy guitar solos, kick-ass melodies and remember-able vocal harmonies.

This great album opens up with “Walking In Circles” where Newdeck opens things up on the vocal front and on drums, with the multi–talented Parmar laying down the hard edged licks from the off, as well as both the bass and keyboards. This is hard edgy rock at its best and a great way to open the CD.

Newdeck delivers another great vocal on the next track “You’re Not Alone”, a rockin’ and melodic metalized track with some great riffs from Parmar as he just lights up the fret board.

The great guitar work really shines through on “Test Of Time”, as Andreas Novak takes up the mike from this melodic hard rocker, before Mr. Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz takes up the mike for the stunning “Lost In You”.

It’s back to the Newdeck for the excellent “Now Your Gone”, a slow burner that builds from a simple riff into a crescendo of big licks and powerhouse rhythms in the bridge sections and a towering vocal. This song is a real corker and one of my favourite tracks off the album.

There’s a touch of the old school with the superb “Hell Is The Place’, where it’s Schulz delivering what he does best on this one, with guest guitar player Mike Rotella (Blackout) laying down a great solo.

The tempo but not the quality is brought down a touch on the dark edged “Guilty”, with Schulz laying those sultry tones on what once would have been labelled a power ballad.

Next it’s time for session singer Tim Wallace to add his vocal might to proceedings, as he is unleashed on the massive “Harms Length”. A great power driven rocker with Parmar delivering some sublime riffing as well as those thumping bass lines.

Wallace also provides the vocal might on the next track “The Dragon”, an old school styled rocker given a modern guitar edginess that really drives this one.

The title track “Circle Of Fire” finds Schulz on the vocal duties again, but it’s the guitar work from Parmar that realy gets this one underway, before Schulz comes in and the pair unite in another great hard rock opus.

For the end, we have a little gem.

There’s not a secret that George Lynch has had a major influence on Parmar’s own guitar style, and Jay is proud of it. You can hear it within the context of his rhythm guitar work, but it is more evident in his solos.

His legato phrasing, attack, harmonic squeals and guitar sound pull a lot from Lynch, but make no mistake he is no mere clone, Jay owns his own style and sound.

Well, the Great George himself lays down the intro and main guitar solos to the final track “When Angels Cry”, with Parmar himself bringing his own vocal prowess to the mix. This track has so many elements, it’s just pure rock alchemy, mixing haunting melodies with classic ’80s riff driven Hard Rock heaven.

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 ’80s US melodic hard rock / stadium-rock-arena without the need for indulgences and spurious tricks and charms. The album is honest, well crafted and a feast for any rock favoured ear.

This CD delivers great all-around vocals from everyone involved, the overall production, engineering and musicianship is top-notch and accomplished.

Parmer’s fretwork is immaculate and doesn’t overplay. He gives each tune exactly the right touch with both his colorful rhythm playing and tasty guitar solos.

One of my favorite albums of the nineties is Geore Lynch’s ‘Sacred Groove’. “Circle Of Fire” goes in the same style, and has the same fire and impact. Don’t miss this silently released great album.

Highly Recommended.

You’ve seen it first here, at zerodayrock 

01 – Walking In Circles (vocals: Pete Newdeck)

02 – You’re Not Alone (vocals: Pete Newdeck)

03 – Test Of Time (vocals: Andreas Novak)

04 – Lost In You (vocals: Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz)

05 – Now Your Gone (vocals: Pete Newdeck)

06 – Hell Is The Place (vocals: Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz)

07 – Stop Laughing (vocals: Pete Newdeck)

08 – Guilty (vocals: Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz)

09 – Harms Length (vocals: Tim Wallace)

10 – The Dragon (vocals: Tim Wallace)

11 – Circle Of Fire (vocals: Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz)

12 – When Angels Cry (featuring George Lynch)

Jay Parmar: guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals on 12

Pete Newdeck: drums, vocals

Carsten Lizard-Schulz: vocals

Andreas Novak: vocals

Tim Wallace: vocals

Mike Rotella: main solo on “Hell Is The Place”

George Lynch: intro/main solo on “When Angels Cry”



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