Sunday, March 27, 2016

CIRCUS MAXIMUS: "Havoc"

Rating: RRRRr
Label: Frontiers 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

"Cause I Am Havoc let me have my release". Blimey! The Norwegians of Circus Maximus are coming out swinging left and right and hit everything in sight with the latest release. Indeed. Step right out people. Since you're about to witness a real live circus freak reeking havoc in your neighbourhood. It's melodic/cinematic, Progressive Rock at its nearly best and the characters are truly coming alive through the pages and stories.

Havoc, clearly their most diverse and impressive album thus far and there's so much more to these melodies than first meet the eye... ehh, ear. Hi-tech yet strangely retro, the different layers and complexity of the compositions give things a bit more momentum and keep the album moving forward and upward. For instance, take the title track, not your ordinary Circus freak rather than Rage Against the Machine-light and with a flickering light at the end of the tunnel. The slightly oriental sound of Pages, different, outside the box material.

Sugar sweet melodic moments such as "The Weight", "Flames", "Loved Ones", listening to these songs is like a trip to the Prog-cinematic heaven. Vocalist Michael Eriksen take a lot from A-HA and their singer Morten Harket, building bridges and creating a moment that last and represent the best of both worlds. The epic soundscapes are a coming storm via the keys of Lasse Finbr├ątsen to the clear and impressive notes of Mats Haugen. Haugen's singing guitar work, a talking point throughout the record and simply check out the warm and rich tone.

Final verdict: Simply close your eyes and let the melodies/harmonies take you on a journey of cinematic Progressive Rock. "Intentionally lost. Never to be found. Some time ago this flame was drowned" (After The Fire). I know it's weird, however, "Remember", takes me away on a white fluffy dragon where the Never Ending Story (Limahl) meet Prog-Rock and it's friggin' good. Highly Recommended.

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