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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

erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This new USA five piece band has made an interesting debut CD but I have to admit that it required a few listening sessions to get into their music. Shadow Circus sounds way from mainstream symphonic prog and the singer has a very distinctive voice, not always my cup of tea because of the theatrical undertone at some moments. But his voice is powerful and gives the sound of Shadow Music an extra dimension.

1. Shadow Circus (7:25) : The bands starts dynamic and powerful with propulsive guitar riffs and a wonderful colouring with vintage keyboard sounds (choir-Mellotron, Minimoog, Hammond organ and Grand piano). The music is melodic, it is a genuine circus atmosphere and the vocals are strong, halfway we can enjoy a biting electric guitar solo, a good and promising start!

2. Storm Rider (7:49) : A catchy mid-tempo with a captivating tension between the fiery electric guitar play and the swinging piano (it contains a Latin-American undertone). In the second part a fiery guitar solo is accompanied by lush Hammond organ and then fluent synthesizer flights, very exciting!

3. Inconvenient Compromise (5:58) : Lots of shifting moods (from mellow with sensitive electric guitar to bombastic with Hammond organ), excellent drum work and varied keyboards (including a swinging piano solo).

4. Radio People (5:43) : This is the maverick on the album delivering a catchy beat and lots of interesting musical ideas like the flute-Mellotron and a sitar-like sound and choir-Mellotron blended with a biting wah-wah guitar solo. It sounds like 'pop meets neo- prog' but this song has been worked out very well.

5. In the Wake of a Dancing Flame (6:34) : The long intro contains wonderful Hammond organ play, it reminds me of early Seventies bands like Rare Bird and Julian's Treatment. Despite good work on guitar and keyboards and strong vocals, this track lacks a bit direction.

6. Journey of Everyman (11:46) : This alternating and dynamic final composition is the absolute highlight on this album, what a 'Pandora's Box of musical surprises', from a blend of wonderful classical orchestrations and Grand piano to bombastic keyboards, a powerful rhythm-section and fiery electric guitar runs, from a slow rhythm with a sensitive electric guitar solo to choir-Mellotron waves with tender piano and from acoustic rhythm guitar with vocals to an almost psychedelic part with a long, biting wah-wah guitar solo, accompanied by majestic choir-Mellotron and an adventurous rhythm-section, this is Shadow Circus at its best!

The music of this new and promising band is hard to pigeon-hole (I could only notice some short but obvious early Yes echoes in the final track) but it's worth to discover their unique sound, I am glad that Atkingani and E-Dub recommended Shadow Circus to me, thanks! I am looking forward to their next release, until so far a solid 3,5 stars for their debut CD but I expect to give 4 stars to the successor!

erik neuteboom | 3/5 |

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