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Soniq Circus: Reflections in the Hourglass

There are no countries that have produced more quality bands the last ten years than that musical hotbed we call Sweden and Soniq Circus are a fine addition to the many bands I have enjoyed the last few years. Their new album Reflections in the Hourglass, the follow up to their 2007 debut, is my first foray into the band and most definitely will not be my last.

The band includes Marcus Enochsson (guitars, lead and backing vocals), Christer Ugglin (drums, backing vocals), Markus Nilsson (bass, backing vocals) and the recently added Marco Ledri (synthesizers, backing vocals).

Refections in the Hourglass is a concept album about time, the human condition and the events that shape our lives. The story involves a man who awakens at 3am and starts to think about his life and the decisions he has made. The journey takes us an hour of real time until 4am when the protagonist of the story reaches an epiphany. Now, what about the music?

Like most of the Swedish bands I have had the pleasure of hearing, Soniq Circus has produced some quality progressive rock with Reflections in the Hourglass. The music is a mixture of melodic rock and symphonic prog, quite heavy at times but never entering the realm of metal. The album grabbed me on first listen and never let go revealing itself a little at a time. I suppose a slight comparison could be made of early '90s Dream Theater although with much less pyro-techniques. These are excellent musicians and never play at the expense of a good melody or two. Lots of acoustic and electric riffs, guitar and synth interplay, nice lead vocals and plenty of musical change ups; in other words some mighty fine melodic prog.

One of the best songs is the album's first track "Inside the Hourglass 3 am" with its bombastic rhythms, sparse piano notes and trickling keyboards. More highlights include the moody "Actor" where brooding synths create an aura of mystery and the one two combination of "Childbirth" and "By the Heartshaped Lake". The former is a classically influenced keyboard piece segueing seamlessly into the latter, a modern day epic conveying many different moods and atmospheres. Pretty acoustic guitar, tight rhythmic virtuosity and sweet keyboard fills are what you will hear.

The album culminates with "Outside the Hourglass 4 am", a solid rock track with progressive touches throughout.

Soniq Circus are an excellent young band with a promising future and deserve your undivided attention. Another fine band from Progress Records.

Track Listing:
1. Inside the Hourglass 3am
2. Formula
3. Actor
4. Shadow Dance
5. Childbirth
6. By the Heartshaped Lake
7. Learning to Talk
8. Outside the Hourglass 4am

Added: October 21st 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 3000
Language: english

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