Artist/ Band: Soniq Circus
Title: Reflections in the Hourglass
Label: Progress Records
Year of Release: 2011
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

This Swedish band comprised of Marcus Enochsson (Guitar,Vocals.) Christer Ugglin (Drums). Marco Ledri (Keyboards) and Marcus Nilsson (Bass Guitar), has released their second studio album on Sweden's Progress Records, and their first with the current line up.They describe their sound as Modern Progressive Metal with a nod to the symphonic Progressive Rock of the 70's.Standout tracks for me are.

The opening track "Inside The Hourglass 3AM " fades in,with bells ringing in the village clock tower and a retro/modern synthesizer setting the tone, the vocals and harmonies stand out, wonderful keyboards and very strong drumming.The sands time are on the move, too much on my mind, thoughts of what was,is, will be, and the realization that the innocence of childhood, is tempered by the lessons learned as age takes its toll. Clocking in at almost eight minutes, I'm excited about what follows.

"Formula" begins with nice guitar work,leading into a late 70's prog/pop feeling, clean vocals with all band members contributing the harmonies. Midway through,the melody takes on a middle eastern/metal touch. Lyrically the story carries on the themes of introspection, wishing to change ones path in life, an awakening.

A darker, contemporary goth-metal tone for "Actor".buiding in intensity, the band provides a hard rocking backdrop to a story of how we as humans,wear masks,costumes, to hide our insecurities,yet hoping to be remembered for our true selves.

"Childbirth"is a contemplative piano/ochestral piece illustrating perhaps the tightening one feels as time seems to be squeezed, the sands rushing faster.

"By The Heartshaped Lake"musically shows strong contemporary eastern European prog influences. A special place of passion, awareness & reflection.

The synthesizer intro recalling the first song,,"Outside The Hourglass 4AM" closes out the album on a positive note, an hour of contemplation,a more mature outlook. More harmony would have given this song a fuller sound and at times it seemed to wander a bit.

I'll say Soniq Circus's self description is apt,the band pay homage to a host of prog/metal bands from past & present.Instrumentally,the band is more than competent, the lead vocals are better when there is the harmonizing, on their own,a trace of accent is apparent to me the true test is a songs ability to take a place on my mental playlist,for the most part,this album has succeeded in doing that. While not breaking new ground, it's a well crafted introduction to this band for me.

Reviewed by Chris Erbeck on December 24th, 2011

Tracks:

01. Inside The Hourglass 3AM
02. Formula
03. Actor
04. Shadow Dance
05. Childbirth
06. By The Heartshaped Lake
07. Learning To talk
08. Outside The Hourglass 4AM

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