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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

toroddfuglesteg
4 stars I got this album a while ago without listening to it and only put it in my cd player when the band offered free copies to the reviewers who wanted to review their second album. Which I will do after completing this review. I have not forgotten............ But let's start with the debut album first.

Behind a pretty eye catching album cover and the opening minutes of this album (Shadow Circus), which leads me in the direction of vaudeville music (Alice Cooper & co), I find a very mature album. An album I am pretty sure has been honed during fifteen years. Not that I believe the music is that old. But I believe the honing of their skills and the experiences has been distilled into this album and probably their second album too. In short; their sound.

And then I am being told this is symphonic prog. Huh ?!? Strange kind of symphonic prog they have in this old British colony, the United States of America. It is like they received a box of symphonic prog albums in Boston harbour, emptied this box in the water and carried on their journey to Los Angeles with a box of candy they then brand "symphonic prog". But in my view; this album is nowhere near being symphonic prog. Nowhere near. I would rather brand their music as Art Rock. No less, no more.

Art Rock also means their music is very much an album of independent songs. The opening song Shadow Circus is a vaudeville rock song which Alice Cooper would had been happy with. The rest of the songs are more complex songs with a lot of influences. From strong influences of classic music from India at Storm Rider to a more somber, country & western esque song on In the Wake of a Dancing Flame. The latter song is the best of the album, both melody and lyrics wise. In between, we also finds some sparkling, feel good American culture collages. In short; Shadow Circus takes us on a ride through USA and it's many mainstream and sub cultures. This is therefore a very American album. Americana, it is called.

I am often looking for the X-Factor on an album or in a piece of music. That is the feeling I get, but cannot put into word. It is the feeling that elevates a piece of music or an album from decent/good to excellent. This album has got the X-Factor. The quality is excellent from the opening bars to the final seconds. A real killer track would had been the icing on this cake, but this album is still a very impressive album. The same also goes for the band. This band has everything but a Peter Grant which has the balls to break them. That's the only thing that stands between them and the position as the top dog in the Art Rock world with some occasional successful forays into the mainstream music world.

This is an exceptional good debut album and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

4 stars

toroddfuglesteg | 4/5 |

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