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Shadow Circus - Whispers And Screams CD (album) cover


Shadow Circus


Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 99 ratings

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el böthy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars It´s been three years since Shadow Circus released their first album Welcome to the freakshow, an album which mixed the retro prog feeling of bands like Spock´s Beard, a melodic pop sensibility and, probably, the one thing that set them aside of other retro bands: a sense of theatricality. The album was welcomed with enthusiasm and, although it didn´t reached the Top 40 selling albums list (far from it) it most definitly let us know that there was a new band with all the potential of becoming a name of themself in the prog world.

Now they are back, three years later, with Whispers and sreams, the dificult second album. If Welcome had the task of introducing us to the band, Whispers shows the road the band has taken and probably will keep on taking. The first thing one can´t but help doing is compare both albums. What inmediatly struck me is that the pop touches are not that present; this is a full prog album. It really is, for the instrumentation is richer and tighter, the compositions lenghtier (the first half of the album can be seen as one conceptual piece divided into seven songs) and more varied. But this comes with a price. David Bobick, the bands lead singer, who pretty much gave Welcome that theater feeling, seems less present here and when he is he is not as catchy or melodic nor as theatrical. Not to say he sings bad, because this is certainly not the case, but if it was he who gave them that edge, it seem here they sound too much like a regular retro band. On that note, the word regular might be accurate, yet again not, for, if they don´t impress with new ideas, the excecution is what elevates them form other retro bands. The compositions are good, dinamic, tight when needed and lose and atmospheric at parts, with a great display of solos, courtesy of Joh Fontana behind keys and guitar.

Overall there are some great songs (pretty much the first half of the album, although it doesn´t necesarly scream out "unity", has some of the albums best parts) and unfortunatly also some not that great ones ("Angel", the albums ballad, is not only way too long for it´s own sake, but ultimatly not interesting enough to help it from being cheesy) which shows the band letting us know they can play like and with the big names of the genre. If anything it shows that Shadow Circus is not a band that does the same thing twice, yet never looses their identity. If they continue this path, but bring the theatricality back, they surely will continue making great genre music.

el böthy | 3/5 |


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