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Shadow Circus - Whispers And Screams CD (album) cover


Shadow Circus


Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 90 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the things that can put the listener off certain prog bands is that they very much forget the "rock" part of the term "progressive rock". That isn't something that can be laid at the door of Shadow Circus as the combination of frenetic drumming and repeated riffs of the opener "Captain Trips" makes one incredibly aware that here is a symphonic progressive rock band that means business. Serious business. To show just how serious they are, "Captain Trips" is actually part of a seven section number called "Project Blue" (inspired by Stephen King's 'The Stand') which has a total length of nearly thirty-four minutes (each section is separately named and split on the album). Strangely enough, although they sound nothing like them whatsoever, the band they most remind me of at times is Gabriel-era Genesis, while at others it is Spock's Beard, or Kansas, and this is one of the joys of this album, in that really they don't come across as anyone else at all and are striving to create their own direction.

This 2009 album was the second from the Americans, and they have released just one more since then, as for some reason they have stayed quite low under the radar although it appears that nearly all those who have heard it and have reviewed it have the same opinion about it that I have, namely that this is an album and band that have an awful lot going for it. There are times when it is almost straight ahead rock, but it is when they morph into Gentle Giant with complex interplay and strange time signatures that they really come into their own. Every time I play this album I find that I am discovering even more layers, but as I peel this particular onion there are no tears but plenty of smiles. Solid, symphonic, exciting, and a blast throughout.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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