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Shadow Circus - Welcome to the Freakroom CD (album) cover

WELCOME TO THE FREAKROOM

Shadow Circus

 

Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 56 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

el böthy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars "Step right up!"... and welcome to the freakroom...

New act Shadow Circus has just released their first full length album, a good album full of good old symphonic prog with a new and fresh sound, which keeps it from being old fashioned. But this band has something new to offer too... circus and theatrical influences? Well, yes, just as the name says it, there is a certain circus vibe; mostly due to David Lawrence Bobick vocals (Bobick has a degree in Musical Theater).

All songs, although not radically divers, present something different to the album. You got the opener "Shadow Circus", which sucks you right in the mood of the album with a great bass/drum work, good melodies from both guitar and keyboards (the keyboardist is only 17 years old!!!) and Bobick distinctive vocals; along with the final track, the best song of the album. A great way to open an album.

"Storm Rider" is a good follower to "Shadow Circus". It's more of a rocker than the previous track, with great piano and an awesome out of control guitar solo part around the fifth minute. After just one listen, the chorus is already in your head for good.

"Inconvenient Compromise" opens powerfully with full blown power chords and great keyboard riffs while the drums go absolutely mad and then... gentle piano drops in and Bobick´s catchy vocal melodies, specially in that great chorus. A stand out!

"Radio People" is where the band surrenders to their pop influences, which where present in the tracks before, but here it´s more evident. This even could be a Pet Shop Boys song! But don't be afraid, it's still a good song with (again) a very catchy chorus... impossible not to sing along. The lyrics are great too, full of criticism to the modern pop scene, with lines like "N´syncopation for the blind, K-Federation agonized" jajajaja...excellent!!!

"In the Wake of a Dancing Flame" is definitely the weakest song from the album. Here the catchiness that made the other songs so good becomes a bit dull after a while for it is too repetitive.

"Journey of Everyman" is the proggiest song of the album. An 11 minutes mini epic full of guitar solos, tight musicianship and song is even divided in three movements: "So it begins", "Find your Way" (the only one to have lyrics) and "Journey ends". The guitar and keyboard duels in "So it begins" might be the best demonstration from this musician's talent in the whole album. The rhythm section is great too, specially the drums; sadly the bass is a bit too low in the mix. The exquisite keys around the fourth minute will make any retro prog fan smile; this is how "Find your Way" begins. Bobick´s vocals drop in and surprise surprise!!! Melody after melody after melody all of which are terribly catchy, can this man not sing in a catchy way? "Journey ends" well...ends with a lush of keyboards which clime to a climax and... Gently drop. And the album ends... Great track!

A great first album for a band that will surely gain a quick following in this site, I know I already am one of those. Recommended to any Flower Kings, Spock Beard and specially The Tangent, you will not be led down by Shadow Circus.

el böthy | 3/5 |

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