Circus Nebula -
The Second Coming

(CD 2022, 52:06, Black Widow Records AND102)

The tracks:
  1- Jerusalem's Lot(23:13)
  2- Burn Witch Burn(4:03)
  3- Coulrophobia(6:29)
  4- Sleepin' Gods Lie(7:03)
  5- Age Of Reckoning(3:38)
  6- Burnin' Tree(7:40)

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The Italian band Circus Nebula have been active since 1988 and only released one album in 2017. Titled Circus Nebula. Now 5 years later they have come with a follow up album. Very appropriatly they named it Second Coming. Nowadays the band consists of Marc Ash: vocals; Alex The Juggler: guitar; Bobby Joker: drums; Gavo: keyboards, flute; Deva Silence: bass.

The band opens the album with a twenty-three minute suite Jerusalem's Lot. It's an epic piece which has several musical faces. Metal meets prog but also The Stooges meets Dream Theater. It's all about raw and powerful riffs but also about melodic pieces which are a treat for your ears. Sometimes the underground hard rock of the 70s comes to the surface. Also the songs that follow are in the same vein as the opening track. Most of the time the keyboard parts shine at the start of every composition but are overruled by the aggressive guitars and vocals as the song continues. Sometimes you go from a NWOBHM ride to the best Alice Cooper of the 70s.That Black Sabbath is an inspiration can be heard throughout the entire album as well. Good examples are Coultrocopia and Age Of Reckoning. On the other hand Sleepin' Gods Lie is entirely immersed in the 70s sound with echoes of Black Widow. The flute and electric piano parts makes it a rather enjoyable song to listen to. The nice guitar solo finally finishes it in style. The eclectic Burnin' Tree closes the album in what is probably the most progressive rock oriented composition. The song is full of heavy doom and electricity, with a spectacular refrain and a dramatic finale evoking a band such as Type O Negative.

Circus Nebula are not the usual heavy rock band. For some people The Second Coming is a bomb of dirty and raw rock'n'roll. Others would say the album is imbued with a myriad of sounds from the rock environment, ranging from the fine progressive rock to the disturbing psychedelic, from the dirtiest hard rock to the classic heavy metal, placed under the dark mantle of a disturbing blues.

But as always everything you hear depends on personal musical taste, if you like it or not. For most people this might also refer to the music Circus Nebula displays on The Second Coming. At first hearing you might say too little of progressive rock influences and you might skip the tracks much too fast. But if you have the courage and take the time to go through the whole album you might find something you like music wise. Just as I did myself. Try for yourself you might enjoy it as much as I did.

*** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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