Header
Shadow Circus - Rise Maxi-Single CD (album) cover

RISE MAXI-SINGLE

Shadow Circus

Symphonic Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In the modern progressive rock world, releasing singles before full-length albums seems to be a good way to give your upcoming release a bit of hype and exposure before it hits shelves. Rise Maxi is a new single release from American prog rock band Shadow Circus, and it should definitely get old and new fans alike excited for their upcoming concept record. Their previous effort, Whispers and Screams, blew me away, so this new single definitely sparked my interest; it doesn't disappoint either. While not quite as essential as their full-length offerings, Rise Maxi is a good window into what the future holds for Shadow Circus.

The music on Rise Maxi is the distinct brand of heavy-tinged symphonic prog that gained Shadow Circus recognition on their first two albums. References to bands like ELP and Spock's Beard are abundant, but Shadow Circus still sounds totally original and unique. Both songs on this single are impressive from a compositional standpoint; 'Rise' is an excellent mini-epic that features some mean organ licks, and 'Daddy's Gone' is an equally great ballad-ish tune. Shadow Circus are a group of capable musicians with a knack for creating memorable compositions; and that's probably Rise Maxi's greatest asset. The production is a little rough around the edges, though, and I would've liked a slightly more polished sound in this case. It's not a major issue, but the production strikes me as a bit under par.

All in all, Rise Maxi is a solid release from one of America's most impressive modern prog acts, and I'll be very curious what they have up their sleeves for their upcoming concept album. In essence, this single does exactly what it needs to do; it sparks interest in its listener, and it's put me in the front of line to check out their next album. Though not essential, this is a recommendable release well-deserving of 3 stars. Considering that both tracks are available for free streaming from the band's website, there's really no reason not to give this one a shot!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#569897)
Posted Friday, November 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Rise' - Shadow Circus (Single)

Although I have often made clear my disdain for the ironically 'retro' approach of much modern progressive rock, Shadow Circus are a band that have stood out for me. Stealing my heart with their second album 'Whispers & Screams', this is a band that retains the theatrics of the classic prog, and instead of merely connecting the dots with technical precision, manages to spark something within me. Keeping in mind that there are few bands of this style nowadays that can move me, I jumped at the possibility of getting a sneak peek at the next record of Shadow Circus. 'Rise' stands within a limbo of being a sneak peek, and an independent work of its own. As a whole, it certainly does not leave the impact that a full-length might, but 'Rise' acts as a perfect appetizer for what is to come.

While most singles tend to have two songs off an upcoming album, only the b-side here is from Shadow Circus' upcoming record. The main attraction is actually an independent 'mini- epic' to give this release some original material of its own. I don't know of too many releases that follow this format, but I think it works. On top of giving me an exciting peek at a highly anticipated album, Shadow Circus makes this experience valid and even independent from any full-length. The title track makes up most of the fifteen minute length, an organ heavy piece that certainly delivers on its promise of being 'epic'. Starting off quietly at first, 'Rise' gradually builds and erupts, all the while showing off Shadow Circus' fresh sense of theatricality and quirk. The way David Bobick's vocals sound, paired with the heavy organ presence both lead to a strong Genesis comparison, but- and I rarely say this- Shadow Circus keep on their own two feet artistically speaking, taking the symphonic prog style and making it their own. 'Rise' does not tend to have the complexity and longevity that I would expect from an epic, and while it does not compare to a true suite like 'Project Blue' (off their previous record), it is a quiet reminder why Shadow Circus stands out.

'Daddy's Gone' largely feels like an afterthought after the near-ten minute 'Rise', but in a way, it delivers more promise than the main attraction. This is the sneak peek from Shadow Circus' upcoming record, a concept album based on the classic science fiction novel 'A Wrinkle In Time'. It is something of a ballad track, with Bobick's vocals once again being a highlight of the sound. Also a particular strength here are the lush vocal harmonies and melodies, while the instruments deliver performances of similar warmth. It isn't memorable in a traditional 'single' sense, but I can see this song growing as time goes on, and especially within the context of the album.

'Whispers & Screams' caused a stir back when it was released, and as 'Rise' demonstrates confidently, Shadow Circus are only building on their charm. 'Rise' is quite successful as a very small taste of what this band is about, and as I'm sure it was intended to do, it has made me excited for the upcoming full-length.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#577787)
Posted Monday, November 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars A couple weeks ago my good friend John Fontana sent me a previously unreleased DVD for a Clinic about SHADOW CIRCUS that i'm going to present to more or less 70 fanatic Peruvian Progheads, but to my surprise i also received this CD that i hadn't heard about. In the first days I was so amazed with the video that didn't cared about the EP, until I listened it and it's just brilliant.

"Rise" is an almost 10 minutes mini epic that has everything I learned to love about SHADOW CIRCUS, as usual they blend lush keyboards and Symphonic atmospheres with one of the most heavy performances i have heard in my beloved sub-genre, with strong guitar and a killer bass by Matt Massek. but this is not what impressed me more about the song, because the radical changes are simply dramatic and always enhanced by the theatrical voice of David Bobick, surely one of the best songs of heir repertoire.

After the frenetic "Rise", the soft "Daddy's Gone" is refreshing from the stat, but again SHADOW CIRCUS surprises us, because what seems a simple ballad turns in to a nice bluesy track with an outstanding guitar performance by John Fontana who interplays brilliantly with Silver in the keys and Jason Brower in the soft but accurate percussion.

It's hard to rate an EP, because two songs are not enough to describe the moment of the band, but when both tracks are outstanding it deserves a high rating, in this case four stars that would be 4.5 if it wasn't because the production is not as good as we are used to

I'm really angry with his guys because the EP only lasts 15 minutes, but full of hope because we will probably see a new full SHADOW CIRCUS album

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#595062)
Posted Friday, December 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars Shadow Circus's music has appealed to me ever since their masterful release of "Whispers and Screams" so I was eager to get hold of this maxi single. The two new songs featured on the single are 'Daddy's Gone' and 'Rise'.

'Rise' is definitely the drawcard of this maxi single encompassing all that is great about the band, sweeping keyboard signatures by the incomparable David Silver, and a rhythm machine of Matt Masek's bass, and Jason Brower's drums. The song begins with a melodic guitar figure and builds to dramatic chugging bass and distorted guitar. The sig changes meter as the vocals come in strongly; "Madmen rule with iron fists and cruel intentions, decimate the promised land, rebels rise to fight the warlords cry to battle, blood will spill across the sand." There is a storng chorus that has an infectious melody and this really hooks into your system immediately. It gets heavier as it launches into a dirty guitar fuzz with psychedelic effect. It settles into a piano and nice harmonies from the band. The guitar solo to follow is spiraling to a high place, with an delicate beauty. The sounds remind me of Pink Floyd though a bit heavier in the guitars. In fact on cue the guitar licks gain tempo and get more aggressive. It leads to the chorus; "we will have the right, we will win the fight, we will stand forever strong, with the force of thunder we will rise."

'Daddy's Home' is a ballad with a stirring lyrical content. The piano driven song is quiet and emotively sung by David Bobick "I look to the skies and I feel your love, I don't know why but I feel it above, Just another chance to see you again, They say there's no hope can't I just pretend, So give me a sign when you're coming back home." The lead break is soaring and executed with huge string bends and sustain by the extraordinary John Fontana. The song is taken from the upcoming concept album that will be out in 2011 based on Madeleine L'Engle's science fantasy novel, "A Wrinkle in Time". If this is any indication of what to expect this should be a treat for prog addicts.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#621793)
Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars New York City's Shadow Circus has come a long way since their ambitious 2006 release " Welcome To The Freakroom ". The light heartedness of that album ( I still groove to '' Radio People '' ) that gave way to more sophistication on the follow up, '' Whispers And Screams " has been carried over to this teaser for their upcoming full length concept CD '' On A Dark Stormy Night ''. One thing that these two contrasting tracks ( one ballad, '' Daddy's Gone '' and one mini-epic.'' Rise '' ) are a sure indication that the circus is in to town to stay and has found a definite voice. Young rogressive rock influenced bands are a hard sell and risk being compared to the " heavy hitters " such as Dream Theatre or Opeth but Shadow Circus seems to have broken out of this constraint. Too early to tell really ( could have included a couple of more tracks! ), but this warm-up single has all the inklings of another jewel from Shadow Circus.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Vibrationbaby (BETA) | Report this review (#670643)
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | Review Permalink

SHADOW CIRCUS Rise Maxi-Single ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of SHADOW CIRCUS Rise Maxi-Single


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.11 seconds