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Whispers & Screams

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 22, 2009
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 22, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CD BABY.COM/INDYS
  • ASIN: B0034PWLFK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,735 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Another great discovery for me, as far as I am concerned, Shadow Circus are one of the best Symphonic Prog acts I have had the pleasure to listen to. The new CD Whispers and Screams is choc a block full of innovative ideas and amazing virtuoso musicianship. Every track adds a new mood and feel enhancing the overall experience. The band are highly theatrical and emphasise the use of lengthy instrumentals to create incredible tracks. It sounds a bit like Diagonal at times, or Pink Floyd, ELP, early Genesis, Yes and Rush. You have to admire that front cover, a direct homage to Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds' complete with crows swarming in the screaming girl's hair.

The CD begins with the lengthy 7 part epic Project Blue.. Part 1 begins with a wind effect and a low drone with a soaring synth. Then a convoluted wild drum beat and jagged guitars crash in and a wall of sound is created. The Hammond blasts away as Bobick's clean vocals begin, phased out and aggressively psychedelic, very 70s like. Kind of like Peter Gabriel in early Genesis. Fontana's keyboards are masterfully executed, at times like the ELP Tarkus sound. Folta's drums pound incessantly, dramatic and complex rhythms. The metrical patterns are nerve shattering. The bass of Croft is relentless and intricate. The keyboard sol is admirable, it is little wonder Fontana has played onstage with the likes of Emerson and Wakeman; the influences are obvious. The lead guitar is terrific, lots of past picking and squeals. What an incredible opener.

Part 2 begins with minimalist piano, simple and beautiful and a quiet vocal that is very easy to understand: 'follow your dreams, to me they will lead you now, there's shadows in the fields, the dark man just won't yield'.
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I just stumbled upon Shadow Circus while surfing MP3's.If you like good Prog Rock It's definately worth adding to your collection.I wont try to go into as much detail as the other reviews.All I can say is listen to this.It's excelent in every way.O.K.I'm going to download the other two.
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This is a very good band, making very good music.
I gathered from the notes that they are American, and this their first full length work,but find this is my misreading of band-member comments.
"Welcome to the Freakroom" is their first, which I should have, but it has vanished into a pile of Amazon receivals.

The first few tracks have a curious restlessness, lots of abrupt rythm and tempo changes...trying to find their way, then, without a word of warning, they spread their wings and soar off into a proggy stratosphere. Although several writers rave about the 34 min opening suite, it's the last half hour I find truly magnificent.
There are so many periods of true beauty, development of form, and quite good lyrics to set it all up.
This is a set that comes to entice,cajole and at times stupefy.

There are all kinds of proggy motifs, and bits that sound like something dimly remembered from the early seventies....Heep, Yes,Genesis, Floyd, ELP, Sabbath.
All chucked in to make a viable whole, far greater than the sum of its parts.
Very prominent Hammond like Organ, truly inspiring Guitar,a limpid lyrical content, with a storyline that works. None of the bizarre opacity that plagues Prog

When the proggy bands of our youth tried to transmogrify literary works into their music, there were commonly some truly forgettable results, (weren't there, Mr Wakeman?)
And, Jon Anderson. To name a couple of obvious examples.

Hope they don't like being cally Proggy! I hope they can maintain standards at this level.
Genuine new hope. Buy today!
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