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Shadow Circus - Welcome To The Freakroom CD (album) cover


Shadow Circus


Symphonic Prog

3.33 | 72 ratings

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4 stars In recent times I've been more and more investigating very new prog-rock bands. The future of my (our) favorite musical style concerns me a lot, I really don't want to see the genre falling into oblivion due to the lack of new blood, just like happened with other fine styles like tango or bossa-nova. Apparently, for what I researched prog-rock closest future is guaranteed since new artists are emerging everywhere and all the time and the best thing is that not only quantity is observed but mainly quality.

Following this line, I took recently contact with this fine new symphonic band, SHADOW CIRCUS, and their debut album "Welcome To The Freakroom", an intriguing and bold production, indeed. SHADOW CIRCUS' sound is a plethora of much that we've heard in the 70s conspicuously blended with the newest trends in the prog planet and the result is really pleasant, I'd say enjoyable, magical and sometimes dark, well in the vein of the purest progressive acts.

Band members show an intrepid musicianship, making us think of forthcoming albums where they shall certainly go far beyond. OK, they haven't yet their own style, but a trail may be perceived. Singing work is where the mentioned trail probably begins; vocalist has his own pattern, exquisite, different, combining an ironic manner in a kind of British mood with a well discernible American accent - I simply adore when I can catch the lyrics in a first passage (remember that English isn't my first language). As an attached note I must say that production is almost flawless and this contributes for an increasing listening interest.

Band namesake song, "Shadow Circus" is a great album opener; the initial shout calling us to the show and making us dive deeply in a sort of strange dream where keyboards and guitars sound hard and raw doing the backing for vocals irrigated with pure emotion. There's something theatrical that picks up the hearer almost immediately - listening to this song with eyes closed I could see 30 years of prog- rock passing through my mind; that's the reason I simply don't run away and hide, I let the Shadow Circus by..

"Storm rider" is the fusionest and jazziest song in the album and consequently the most 'American' track here - great piano and drumming working, fine singing action. I swear I could even dance here: the song is agreeable, in the correct mood.

"Inconvenient compromise" is really modern, here and there we may gather the influences of many progressive bands of the 90s, all mixed to fit into band's reality. Some passages are truly beautiful and don't forget to pay attention to the guitar solo.

"Radio people" has that catchy neo-prog sound that may annoy some delicate ears but, hey, these guys have heard this stuff certainly too much and they are telling their story and they deserve to be heard. Not the highest album point but doubtless well above the average.

"In the wake of a dancing flame" brings the band to some of their proggiest moments, meaning that some marvelous tunes are presented. The overall atmosphere is pleasant and lovable, a bit psychedelic; the apparent balladesque path is tricky, and the song reveals meaningful points when you read between the lines. This track rivals with the opener for the honor of being album's best.

'Journey of everyman' must be evaluated separately from the others. We are facing a epic-like song and here SHADOW CIRCUS walk through dangerous fields doing a kind of summary of the entire prog-rock genre - parts of the song could easily be recorded by many of our dearest bands. Anyway, the treatment given by the band is sincere and respectful.

OK, now that your prog collection is already full of those unforgettable albums produced by those classic bands it's time to add something new and "Welcome To The Freakdown" is a neat and nice recommendation - just take it! Final rating: 4.

Atkingani | 4/5 |


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