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Soniq Circus

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Soniq Circus Reflections in the Hourglass album cover
3.63 | 36 ratings | 3 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Inside the Hourglass 3AM (7:53)
2. Formula (9:51)
3. Actor (5:11)
4. Shadow Dance (8:33)
5. Childbirth (2:34)
6. By the Heartshaped Lake (11:04)
7. Learning to Talk (7:32)
8. Outside the Hourglass 4AM (7:39)

Total Time 60:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Marcus Enochsson / guitar, vocals
- Christer Ugglin / drums
- Markus Nilsson / bass
- Marco Ledri / keyboards

Releases information

CD Progress Records - PRCD046 (August 24, 2011)

Thanks to Rune2000 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SONIQ CIRCUS Reflections in the Hourglass ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

SONIQ CIRCUS Reflections in the Hourglass reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by baz91
3 stars The following takes place between 3am and 4am. Events occur in real time.

Sweden is a land of many things: Vikings, flat-pack furniture, great meatballs, and of course prog. Bands like Anglagard, Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Atlas, Karmakanic, The Flower Kings, Beardfish, Moon Safari, Galleon, Kaipa, Meshuggah, Therion and more have turned Sweden into something of a prog hotspot. Emerging from this prolific nation are Soniq Circus, consisting of Marcus Enochsson on guitars and vocals, newcomer Marco Ledri on keyboards, Markus Nilsson on bass and Christer Ugglin on drums. This is the band's second album, since their eponymous debut was released in 2007.

'Reflections in the Hourglass' is a concept album about a man who wakes up in the middle of the night and reflects on his life since he cannot get back to sleep. We follow our protagonist's thoughts in real time, in a similar manner to the TV series '24'. The album is 60 minutes long and begins with three bell chimes to signal 3am and ends with four bell chimes to signal 4am, helping to strengthen the concept. In the CD booklet, each page shows the timeline between 3am and 4am, giving the times when each track would start if the album were played at this time in the morning. Moreover, the CD itself has a clock face with eight hands pointing to the eight starting times of each song.

While the band can be classified as heavy prog, the music is rather light for the genre, and more melodic. In the booklet, Ledri can be seen wearing a Dream Theater t-shirt, but no obvious DT influences can be seen besides the frequent use of odd time signatures. There are no long intricate instrumentals to be heard; the singing in English dominates this album.

Despite having a good songwriting style and adequate musicianship, the group have neglected to write any killer material for this album ? stuff that really hooks you in without letting go. The first and last tracks are the best as they contain great verses and choruses and hold the album together. Other good songs from the album include the odd meter-riddled Actor and the epic, diverse Shadow Dance. Sadly though, nothing on the CD really stands out or impresses me and I feel like the group are playing just a little too safe.

Strangely enough, this album has become the closest example of what I'd call 'prog standard'; if there was ever an average album in the progressive sphere, this would be it. Although the 'hour' concept is a great idea, it's not as fleshed out in the music as I would have liked. This is a nicely produced, stylish album but there's little to keep me coming back for more.

Review by Rune2000
4 stars It's funny how ones opinions can drastically change even over relatively short amount of time...

I wasn't a fan of Soniq Circus before seeing them live at Slottskogen Goes Progressive 2011. My initial opinion was based entirely on the 3-4 spins of their debut album which had some potential but ultimately was a slight disappointment considering the amounts of talent hidden within the collective. The band had, since then, made a few changes in the lineup with the most prominent one being the loss of their former lead vocalist. Marcus Enochsson is doubling both as the band's guitarist and vocalist. This doesn't seem to be much of a problem since he's quite a charismatic character who clearly knows his audience and therefore mixes in the esthetics of Peter Gabriel in his performance.

I was clearly intrigued by some of the new material that was performed at that show so giving Soniq Circus another go felt like a given. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was shattered by the initial few spins of the hour long Reflections In The Hourglass. I even began writing down my remarks for a potential review which included memorable lines like: "...can't get in tune with the material...", " memorable hooks..." and "...nothing that irritates but neither impresses me too much...". It's funny how ones opinions can drastically change even over relatively short time, but fortunately it did and I actually began to enjoy what was offered on this release.

Granted that I'm still not too keen on the two opening tracks, the album really begins to shine with the relatively short but very memorable Actor, followed by the masterpiece Shadow Dance. This track has everything I love about Soniq Circus like vibrant buildups, quirky lyrics and memorable instrumental moments, but most importantly, it doesn't overstay its welcome even when considering the 8+ minute composition format!

The album continues on a few more high notes with both By The Heartshaped Lake and Learning To Talk being very strong progressive compositions that keep my interest up leading up to the final highlight Outside The Hourglass 4am. This is simply a triumphant conclusion to this loosely linked concept album that almost makes me interested in the proposed idea of listening to the album in real time between 3 and 4 AM, but I'll take a raincheck for the time being.

Soniq Circus have clearly created a solid progressive rock album that I'm sure that fans of both Symphonic Prog and Heavy Prog will find very appealing. Give Reflections In The Hourglass a go if you haven't done so already!

***** star songs: Actor (5:11) Shadow Dance (8:33) Outside The Hourglass 4am (7:39)

*** star songs: By The Heartshaped Lake (11:04) Learning To Talk (7:32)

*** star songs: Inside The Hourglass 3am (7:53) Formula (9:51) Childbirth (2:34)

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Swedish band Soniq Circus is little known prog act, but they released so far 2 albums their second one from 2011 named Reflections in the hourglass being the best from the two, but aswell the debut is pretty much more then ok. What Soniq Circus delivering here is a solid heavy prog album with good doses of neo prog and symphonic prog touches but all melted with prog metal accents, it sounding like a metalized neo prog in the end. So, what was fun to listen and are damn catchy are the keybords arrangements, there are rich momnts of this instrument and in combination with guitars the result is excellent. There are plenty of bombastic passages, intelligent arrangements and a pleasent voice from start to finish. The rhythm section gives the music a metal vibe and the keyboards give the music that symphonic - neo-prog touch something like Spock's Beard meeting dutch prog band Splinter, the old and new in prog is well combined on every tune. Pieces like Formula or By The Heartshaped Lake with lots of tempo changes, melodic lines, nice vocal parts, a truly inspired moments. Aswell the rest of the pieces are in same manner, all is done with good taste and intresting arrangements. I really do not know why Soniq Circus is so unknow in prog circles, what they offer here is more then good release, towards excellent in parts. To me a nice listen and for that reson 4 stars for sure.

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