Shadow Circus -
On A Dark And Stormy Night

(CD 2012, 58:32, 10T Records)

The tracks:
  1- Overture(8:09)
  2- Daddy's Gone(5:56)
  3- Whosit, Whatsit And Which(6:33)
  4- Make Way For The Big Show(8:42)
  5- Tesseract(5:20)
  6- Uriel(5:51)
  7- Camazotz(6:22)
  8- Ixchel(4:39)
  9- The Battle For Charles Wallace(7:00)

Shadow Circus Website        10T Records

The American progressive rock band Shadow Circus already recorded Welcome To The Freakroom (2006) and Whispers And Screams (2009). On both albums you could find strong compositions, but for me these compositions never reach the high level of the songs on On A Dark And Stormy Night, their recently released third album. This album is just outstanding and needs to be heard by all prog heads that mostly enjoy the classic progressive rock acts of the seventies!

On A Dark And Stormy Night is a real concept album heavily based on A Wrinkle In Time, a famous Newberry Award-winning science fiction and fantasy novel written by Madeleine L'Engle. The album coincides with the 50th anniversary of the initial publication of this book, and it will make many prog hearts beat faster. If you listen to the wonderful music written and recorded for On A Dark And Stormy Night you can't deny that it contains many influences from acts like Yes, PFM, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Kansas and ELP. But also the famous hard rock bands from the seventies can be recognized on the band's third effort. Some musical passages are reminiscent of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.

However, as always, I appreciate the fact that Shadow Circus show their admiration for the music these bands created in the seventies. The only thing that matters to me is how the music sounds. Does it entertain, impress and capture me without having a dull moment? Well, this amazing album surely meets my requirements. The strong compositions and the virtuoso musicianship of David Bobick (vocals), John Fontana (keyboards, guitars), David Silver (keyboards), Jason Brower (drums) and Matt Masek (bass) make sure that indeed, I never had a dull moment while listening to this epical concept album.

Well, I can rave about the incredibly catching melodies, the lush symphonic textures, the outstanding guitar grooves, the excellent keyboard time signatures, the beautiful ambient sounds, the astonishing guitar solos and the strong rhythm section, but I won't. I neither mention that Mellotrons and MiniMoogs can be heard in full glory on many tracks, nor that the many classical piano interludes or opera sounding female vocals grab you permanently. I could have told you that all these tracks contain outstanding prog rock music, but I don't. You just have to listen to this album yourself in order to find out whether I was exaggerating or not.

Shadow Circus delivered a great performance with On A Dark And Stormy Night. This album really deserves a much wider audience. I would like to invite all prog heads out there to listen and enjoy this musical roller coaster. Just like me you won't regret it! This true masterpiece only deserves the highest score of five stars.

***** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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