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I: Welcome To The Circle...

2017

Since he was 15 years old, Cody McKenna has been dazzled by solo electric guitar music and the guitarists who've crafted some of the classic albums in the genre. Inspired by players such as Jason Becker, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen, Buckethead, Steve Vai, Marty Friedman, Guthrie Govan, Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani (the list goes on...), he set out to create his own full length instrumental guitar album in 2016. 

I: Welcome To The Circle is the instrumental debut album by The Circle Of Wonders. This 46 minute instrumental prog-metal LP was released on August 22, 2017 and is the first part in a multi-album conceptual anthology series. Though there isn't a narrative storyline tied to this first release, it acts as somewhat of a test for the overarching story, as it serves it's literal and conceptual purpose of being the beginning of the story - metaphorically representing the listener picking up the book, opening it up, taking a seat, and beginning to read. What's more, the "bookend" intro and outro tracks set the stage and establish the main musical theme of the concept's central focal point - a traveling circus called The Circle Of Wonders. To take things further, listeners might even hear some melodies/motifs/riffs from this album in subsequent albums released by The Circle Of Wonders.

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