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Sinkadus Cirkus album cover
4.13 | 123 ratings | 12 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Jag, Änglamarks Bane (13:47)
2. Positivhalaren (7:19)
3. Kakafonia (6:23)
4. Valkyria (10:03)
5. Ulv I Farakläder (9:56)

Total Time 47:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Linda Agren / flute, vocals
- Lena Pettersson / cello
- Mats Segerdahl / drums
- Rickard Biström / bass, vocals
- Robert Sjöback / guitar
- Fredrik Karlsson / keyboards

Releases information


AVALON MICY-1097 (Japan)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SINKADUS Cirkus ratings distribution

(123 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SINKADUS Cirkus reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Well after the ultra-derivative, but nevertheless good debut album Aurum Nostrum, was Sinkadus going to shake its clone etiquette, while retaining a rather flattering retro-prog sound? Looking at their sombre and cold artwork; this was anything but sure.

And indeed right from the first note of the opening track Anglamarks Bane, you are plunged in the world that Anglagard had you plunged into, a world full of melancholy with flutes, cello and trons of mello. A bit too much really, as this album is like a cake where over 90% is either cream or icing. Two tracks are instrumental, but unfortunately, this does not seem to change much Sinkadus' way to write up and free themselves from the trap they set up. If the songwriting is more interesting on Kakafonia (their shortest and the highlight, IMHO), and on the whole over the whole album, it is simply too few and too late, something they will involuntarily confirm by never releasing a third album.

Don't get me wrong all the right ingredients are in and I should love this kind of stuff, but not wanting to fool myself (or my fellow progheads), this is the kind of retro-prog that brings absolutely nothing new, even if pleasure is still there and this album being intrinsically superior to its predecessor, one must be discerning aesthetic proghead and forget the fast food and concentrate on the more gastronomic meals.

Review by Greger
4 stars SIMKADUS was the band that took over where ÄNGLAGARD ended in 1994, and released the best debut album in 1996 in my opinion. Now they're back with their second album "Cirkus", the follow up to "Aurum Nostrum". - The music is a mix between GENESIS, KING CRIMSON, YES and ÄNGLAGARD. The vocals are singed in Swedish, and there's plenty of great instruments, such as flute, cello, organ and layers of beautiful Mellotron. The music is complex with many time-changes and instrumental passages. It also has a lot of contrast, and it varies from calm to very dramatic and intense. - The 16-page CD-booklet is very beautiful with illustrations to each song. I won't mention any highlights because every track is equally good. SINKADUS is one of the best bands from the '90's, and this may be the best album of the year. It's almost as good as their debut album "Aurum Nostrum" from 1996, and a future classic progressive album. Highly recommended, especially for lovers of ÄNGLAGARD and Mellotron!
Review by loserboy
4 stars Although it is often difficult to write and record a follow-up to a classic debut release, but I would suggest that SINKADUS have outdone all expectations here with "Cirkus". Like "Aurum Nostrum", "Cirkus" delivers that deliciously punchy yet intensely mellotron driven headphone experience. "Cirkus" is made up of 5 long songs which are of the highest calibre in every way... Musicianship is superb, songs are well crafted and the recording is fabulous... what else could you ask for? SINKADUS are for those fans of ANGLAGARD.
Review by lor68
3 stars Sorry, but I don't understand what's all the fuss about it?!? Don't get me wrong, this album is not bad, talking about the arrangement and the execution as well, but in comparison to the best stuff by Anglagard for instance, is never equal and often it seems an unperfected or uneven caricature ...there are poor harmonic solutions within, and its righter score should be 2 stars and an half!! Nevertheless there's their first attempt to give a personal imprinting to their most original compositions (actually a few ones),and usually We appreciate such effort very much!! I don't know whether this "flawless" feature is enough or not, but for sure it can give us a second chance of listening to this ensemble from Sweden once again at least!!

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I swear that this album is very difficult for me to digest. Nope, it's not that the music is too complex, not at all; even though there are some segments with complex arrangements. I even don't understand why it's so difficult for me to digest this album. Their "Aurum Nostrum" album is more accessible to my ears. With this album I even admire Sinkadus because the are more mature than its preceding album.

What can I say about this album? First of all, the music is really dark from start to end - so do not expect something with uplifting mood or so. The strong point of this album is its neatness of composition, unique time signatures with most of the tracks are performed in mellow style. Of course, you will find some segments with medium tempo but that is part of the whole arrangement of music. Second, if you love the oldies prog instrument which some people refer as an instrument that characterized prog music in the past: mellotron, you will definitely enjoy this album Yes, this album contains chock full of soaring mellotron sounds. What makes it even better is that the mellotron-based music is strengthened with flute and cello works. What a great combination of musical instruments.

An excellent album that I recommend for fans of Anglagard, King Crimson, Genesis or After Crying to own this CD. Even though this CD is hard for me to digest, I still often play it on my player. It's probably I like the combined sounds of mellotron with acoustic like cello and flute; also the non-English singing. And also the sonic quality is very good even though not excellent. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Prog-jester
5 stars With their second release(which I love a bit less,than the debut one) SINKADUS came to another territory - they wrote two short tracks!!! :-) "Kakofonia" is awesome experience,it reminds me of ANEKDOTEN or even PORCUPINE TREE rather than ANGLAGARD."Valkyria" is one of my favouritest instrumentals ever,I'd recommend this track for Scandinavian prog newbies!The sound and the style is similar to their magnificient debut,but there are some differencies in soundproducing and even in songs' structures. By the way ,I don't care for the similarities - I consider ANGLAGARD and SINKADUS to be a diffirent bands with different styles - it's like comparing GENESIS and KING CRIMSON!!!
Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars This is the second release from SINKADUS, and while I thought their debut was amazing, I think this one is even better. I love the way this band sounds with the melancholic flute and mellotron in contrast to the outbursts of organ and deep prominant bass. That's really over simplifying it, all I know is that the vintage keys along with the bass and flute are incredible throughout. This album is part of my legendary Swedish trilogy from the nineties, along with "Hybris" and "Vemod".

"Jag, Anglamarks Bane" opens with ominous flute melodies until there is an explosion of sound after a minute. Powerful organ and mellotron as drums pound slowly. It changes to an ANGLAGARD-like soundscape of intricate sounds before 3 minutes.The angular guitar and chunky bass are outstanding ! It brightens a minute later.This is incredible ! Check out the bass and organ as the angular guitar continues. You can hear someone laugh right out of the blue (or was that me). This has to be heard to be believed. Suddenly gale force mellotron winds sweeps across the soundscape as huge bass lines pierce through the storm. It settles beautifully 6 1/2 minutes in with flute and gentle guitar followed by vocals. The calm is ended abruptly 8 1/2 minutes in dramatic fashion. The bass is killer.The mellotron is back a minute later. Themes are repeated. Another calm 11 minutes in with vocals. I really like the sound 12 1/2 minutes in. It's building to a big finish. What a song ! "Positivhalaren" opens powerfully with organ, drums and mellotron. It settles quickly then builds as flute, mellotron and snarly bass lines come in. Another calm 2 1/2 minutes in with flute. It's building again. Great sound 4 minutes in with mellotron. The mellotron is glorious 5 1/2 minutes in. I can't get over how huge sounding the bass is throughout this album. The final minute is simply heaven on earth. No words.

"Kakafonia" is sad with vocals to open. A fuller sound 1 1/2 minutes in. Nice. Some good organ follows. Solemn flute and a calm 3 minutes in, but it kicks back in quickly. Mellotron waves 3 1/2 minutes in as the tempo keeps shifting.The mellotron is outstanding in this song. Great sound a minute later, but they don't stay in one place long. "Valkyria" is a 10 minute instrumental. It opens with gentle flute and guitar. After 1 1/2 minutes the tempo picks up as chunky bass and a full sound arrives. Mellotron floods the scene as a calm arrives with gentle guitar. Flute is back. It kicks back in before 4 minutes. More fat bass outbursts as mellotron comes in majestically. Another calm with piano after 5 minutes. It's building as ground shaking bass lines come in. Check it out after 6 minutes ! The calm sections and outbursts of sound continue to be contrasted until i am overwelmed by the wall of mellotron 9 minutes in that continues until the song ends. Gulp. "Ulv I Faraklader" opens with guitar as instruments are added including vocals until it kicks into full gear 2 minutes in. Flute and mellotron after 2 1/2 minutes as bass throbs. Gorgeous sound follows with organ. It settles right down with flute.Cello comes in around 4 minutes.Check out the mellotron a minute later that turns into a storm. This is too much ! Vocals are back 7 minutes in and it's building, right to the end of the song !

It really doesn't get much better than this.

Review by Menswear
4 stars Spooky.

When I got this one I was very excited because the first album was everything I liked about that style: not too complex and 'woodzy'.

Compared to Anglagard, Sinkadus is more relax and gives more flute. Both bands demands careful and repeated listenings. While Anglagard swirls and dances around many patterns in the same song, this album could sound redudant in some places, but the whole 'walk in enchanted woodland' is still there, with loads of mellotron voices, Gilmouresque guitars and B3.

Maybe Sinkadus tooked less time to do this one, but it's not Aurum Nostrum. The recipe is the same, but this time darker and tormented. While the first album was more like the woods in the afternoon, this one is clearly relating to the insecure moments of dawn, with it's shadows and eerie sounds.

A very good band with a lot to offer and this album does not disappoint except the tiny glitches of redundance, making some songs longer than they should be.

Long live Sweden!

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This second (and halas the last one) album from Sinkadus doesn't sound more regressive than they fellow countrymen Änglagård. Their source of inspiration were the same (Crimson, Genesis both in their early, early days) and the way they reproduced the music is just excellent.

It is true that Sinkadus music sounds a bit easier to approach, which is even better to my ears.

Still, this album is more intricate than the marvellous and fully melodic debut Aurum Nostrum. While the opening song Jag, Änglamarks Bane fully reminds the grandeur of its predecessor (featuring some brilliant fluting as well as mellotron, but not enough tron to my likings) and is fully Crimsonesque, the follow-up Positivhalaren has a more eclectic feeling. The mood is darker, more oppressive. But the mellotron is there to smooth the angles.

Cirkus is not such love at first sight as their fantastic debut. You have to listen, and to listen more to discover all of its beauty. Because, there are no doubts: this is a beautiful album.

Bizzarely, Kakofonia is the most melodic track of the whole. Such a fine melody is just gorgeous. The instrumental intro is a jewel IMHHO. As I pointed out for their debut, the only minus point would be the vocals. This is the second highlight (after the opening song).

But of weak songs, there is no question here. Each track is a serious piece of music, featuring wonderful and symphonic passages. The closing of Valkyria is absolutely stunning in this respect.

The same magic takes place with the second half of Ulv I Faraklader. Do I need to mention the superb mellotron? I guess not. But each time that a band has used this great instrument (Paatos, Anekdoten, Anglagard, not to mention KC and Genesis of course), I feel the same passion.

If orgies of keys (mellotron), sweet flute, and great harmonies are of your liking, you shouldn't hesitate to listen to this album. I don't like it as much as their debut one but Circus remains a very good album. Four stars without hesitation.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Yes, I remember knocking off stars from Änglagard's albums for finding them too derivative. Also the vocals didn't help them really. And yes, I realize that Sinkadus is not only highly indebted to Änglagard but that they also aren't gifted with the most easy-going vocals. Following my own logic, I couldn't possibly rate this above 3 stars right? Yet I gave this album a solid 5. So, have I lost it? Am I not consistent? Should I be demoted to newbie? Or am I simply returning a favour to Sinkadotentree for introducing me to this charming low-profile band?

The reason is that, even though I tend to be critical towards things retro and everything that looks like style-exercises, this album is simply too good, overwhelming even. With every listen I have found myself being soaked deeper and deeper into this imaginative piece of music. For symphonic prog fans, it isn't a particularly difficult album to get into, yet it takes time before all its intricate power and secrets will entirely reveal themselves.

Sinkadus sound very much like Änglagard and offer a Swedish mood-mix of Camel's Mirage, Genesis' Nursery Cryme and early King Crimson, featuring lots of vintage equipment such as moogs, flutes, hammond and mellotron. The sound is very natural, organic and direct, with a very solid foundation of tasty bass and drums. Depending on your point of view, you could either call them old-fashioned and retro or authentic and timeless. However, the quality of the musicianship and song material can't be denied. Add the vigorous performance to that and my vote swings in all positive directions.

Each of the 5 pieces here has so much things going on that a full description of all themes and song developments would take up an entire page. To give an impression, Jag Anglemarks Bane has a big cinematic introduction, reminding me quite a lot of the majestic moments of the first two albums from Ange, one of my favourite symphonic rock bands. That's a nice point they score here right from the start. The vocals are a bit awkward at first but they play a minor role and have gradually grown on me. On Kakafonia for example, the vocals are slightly processed through some voice effect device and the result is just excellent. Valkyria is a highlight amongst highlights, very adventurous, soulful, warm and melancholic. The album ends with big washes of mellotron that go through a chord modulation that reminds me very much of the vocal line from Genesis' Seven Stones, the .. only grieves him, Believe him part. Not a bad quote at all.

Cirkus is an album in a recognizable classic symphonic style and it's honoring classic prog rather then cloning it. When done with so much flair, passion and inspiration, 4 or 5 stars are easily deserved. Even within the symphonic prog sub that is crammed with essential material.

Review by Warthur
5 stars I overlooked this album for a great number of years. Part of this was because, like many listeners, I couldn't help but note the very, very great debt that Sinkadus owed Anglagard when it came to the sound of their debut album, Aurum Nostrum, and the soundalike approach caused me to overlook some of the better qualities of that album, which has only grown on me after a great many listens. Surely the followup would be much the same, I assumed - or, failing that, a fumbling attempt to update their sound.

I could not have been more wrong. On Cirkus, Sinkadus truly come into their own sound - still rooted in 1970s prog, still with an approach not dissimilar to that of Anglagard or Landberk, but with a particular mood and atmosphere and aesthetic that is all their own. There's a haunting, foreboding quality to much of the material here, and a certain broadening of the prog influences they take on board; there's some segments, for instance, which genuinely wouldn't be out of place playing on the soundtrack of some forgotten 1970s giallo movie out of Italy.

Whilst the melancholy of Aurum Nostrum overlaps somewhat with the melancholy that Anglagard or Landberk have managed to capture in some of their own releases, nothing from that Swedish prog scene is quite as spine-chilling as the dread-inducing material here - not even the Morte Macabre supergroup project which covered all those Italian prog horror soundtrack classics from back in the day.

Come back, Sinkadus: all is forgiven. Whilst their debut may have had a mixed reception (perhaps with some small justification), Cirkus is an outright overlooked classic which doesn't deserve to languish in obscurity - nor do Sinkadus deserve to do the same. As I understand it, they've never formally announced a breakup, so perhaps we can hold out hope that one day this haunted circus will come back to down...

Latest members reviews

4 stars I was working at something or other on my computer ? I forget what but it was of sufficient interest to occupy most of my mind. But as I often like to have music playing in the background while working I decided to put on 'Cirkus' by Sinkadus. After what seemed only a few minutes I realised th ... (read more)

Report this review (#613906) | Posted by Kiwi1 | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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