THE LAST THINGS - CIRCLES AND BUTTERFLIES

ARKEYN STEEL RECORDS

 

Metal To Infinity

The Last Things is a band from St. Petersburg Florida that actually arose from the ashes of another band named Blackkout who released the big album “Ignorance Of Man” back in 1989. This superb effort was fulfilled with only but excellent stuff, very obscure – a must have for everyone hooked on the mighty forces of technical, Classic / Progressive Power and  Thrash Metal. In 2010, “Ignorance Of Man” has been reissued as a 1000 limited piece of gold including nice bonus stuff for the real US Metal collectors! Back then in the late 80s / early nineties, Blackkout had a real successful time but unfortunately, it does not last very long. They called it quits and we lost a very good band! 

Times passed by and a new project began to take form, multi-instrumentalist and singer Richard W. Elliott IV set up a brand new band called The Last Things. Along with the help of other guys those who joined the band, the one and only debut album “Circles And Butterflies”- a product that cost a lot of effort to fully finish – will eventually see the light of day in 1993. Without the perseverance of Richard, it would never have succeeded. I don’t have any idea about the fact how good “Circles And Butterflies” was sold – really hard to find back the original these days but there is hope for all those collectors of rare US Metal. Greek label Arkeyn Steel Records has just released the limited edition of 1000 handnumbered  CDs of The Last Thing’s “Circles And Butterflies”, completely digital remastered… this is a very obscure monster album. Make notice that the first 500 has a bonus DVD from the band Blackkout on board!  Packed as a jewel box, you will also find back a complete biography, never before published image and so many more…. Classic US Metal maniacs – be fast and order right on while supplies last!  

“Circles And Butterflies” feels like a knife that cut both ways. I’d like to divide the entire effort (including the bonus stuff) into two different parts. Some of the songs belong to the category of pure US Classic Metal featuring outstanding and technical power, progressive and thrashing characteristics. Opener ‘Into The Circles’ hits me in the face right on – great vocals, magnificent guitar tactics and nice up tempo velocities alternating with unexpected, dark elements in the middle. This song really rules – US Power Metal reigns!! I got to say that the first half of the album come on with ‘spoken parts’ which gives the same feel of watching a dark movie from time to time. Sort of bizarre but The Last Things knows how the make their songs totally worked out as it should be. Point is that you have to be some kind of musically open minded because of the weird twists and turns the band delivers. Another fave of mine is definitely ‘Circle Of Willis’ which opens with spoken words of a man that passes a doctor in hope to find the right diagnosis of his problem – when the man behind his desk and dressed in a white apron asks if he’s in a lot of stress, he starts to laugh and the song really kicks off. Killer US Power Metal in the good old tradition, you’re warned. So dark and beautiful, emotional loaded comes the track called ‘The Vow’… nice and tender with the great voice of Richard Elliott IV, I say yeah! Instrumental ‘After Birth’ has a psychedelic, dark feel and let me dream away while next instrumental ‘The Circle Ends’ brings me back on my feet with a mixture of Progressive Power Metal and Vai / Satriani kinda guitar licks. 

Fave of mine number three is ‘Ghost From The Past’ with its Classic US Power Metal character. More dark elements bringing down your neck while listening ‘Morgan’s Song’ starts to play. Really calm and easy track but still, it shows a very good band able to switch pure Metal songs into something completely different, moves you might not expected and that’s exactly one of the most impressive trademarks of The Last Things! Checking out a song called ‘Reservations’ I actually don’t know what to say. Should I call this one a Folk or Psychedelic minded instrumental?? Weird to me! There is one last song from the original album entitled ‘The Spirit Lives’ and reminds me of Psychotic Waltz and early Anacrusis sometimes.  

‘Bloom’ and ‘A Promise Broken’ come from The Last Thing’s 1994 unreleased demo and are quite okay by me. Dark / Progressive Rock these tracks offer – I’ve got nothing against with but to me, these guys are much better playing their stuff in a pure US Power Metal manner. The remaining songs Arkeyn Steel Record’s re-release of The Last Thing’s “Circles And Butterflies” has to offer are coming from the unreleased Blackkout demo created back in 1990. Well, about these last three tracks – they’re just another bunch of favourite works of mine. The power, the speed, the integrity and technical moves with outstanding vocals were the ingredients the guys from Blackkout was all about so no reason for me to complain.  

Fans of Psychotic Waltz, Oracle, Jester’s March, Mordred, Blind Illusion and stuff should check out The Last Thing without a doubt. Order before it’s too late – Classic US Metal addicts would have to buy this efforts with minimum reserves! A must have for sure!!!!  http://www.arkeynsteel.com/index2.html

My Points: 90 / 100 (Review by Stefan)