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Moonlight Circus - Mask Of Madness

Moonlight Circus
Mask Of Madness
by YngwieViking at 12 January 2014, 1:08 AM

The Italian Progressive Metal band MOONLIGHT CIRCUS was born long ago in 1998, it occurred when former BLACK JESTER’s (they released an album called “Welcome To The Moonlight Circus” in ‘96) members Paolo Viani (lead guitar) and Alberto Masiero on drums teamed up with Vocalist Alex Secchi, Gianluca Tassi (bass), and talented Keyboardist Daniele Soravia. Their first album, "Outskirts of Reality", was published in 2000 by 99th Floor/Elevate Records and was buried under the tons of low key Prog Metal releases that were crowded on the market back at that time.

This album was full of quality but it was ignored and followed by a long silence, but the group remains active and after some twist in the line-up, and some hard times in finding the new members, Max Zanatta (vocals) and Salvatore Bonaccorso (drums) are finally fitting well with the core of the original formation. In between, both Paolo & Daniele played with William J. Tsamis’s WARLORD as live musicians for the comeback tour. The sound of the new album is still clearly tagged by the 90’s Progressive Metal with some weird atmospheres, bombastic arrangements, harmonized choirs and a strong focus on the melodic hooks think HOUSE OF SPIRIT meets Late SAVATAGE meets ROUGH SILK and updated with some subtle Neo-Classical influences that reminds me compatriots of ARACHNES.

The short opening track “Follia” and the subsequent cut right after are displaying a strong Romantic & Baroque feel before kicking into a Malmsteenian hi-speed riffage in the legendary RISING FORCE’s “Trilogy”/“Odyssey” fashion, this song is however the sole True Neo Classical tune but I love it , the remaining numbers are less typical, and way more complex or Proggy (“Twilight Sky” & “Wind Of Solitude” are utterly impressive too ). “Mountain Of Madness” brings something still very intense but more intriguing in the contemporary LABYRYNTH powerful way, with fast pace and haunted layers of vocals.

The playing level is really high and the creative ideas are numerous, unfortunately the production is a little in the sub standards of the sound quality of most of their contestants, but anyway the listening experience is still rich and entertaining, most of the time the vocals are very good, and quite a bit theatrical and the duality between the keys and lead shredding guitar parts are spectacular and dynamic.

As a fan of many legendary acts & repositories that was mentioned before, it was another great encounter for me…The fresh 2014 year, seems once again exciting with those upcoming releases, a flow in an high caliber category… Enjoy.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Follia
2. The Duel (Back from the Edge of Time
3. Moutains of Madness
4. Winter Masquerade
5. Lord of Sands
6. Twilight Sky (Children of the Rainbow)
7. Wind of Solitude
8. Gabriel
Lineup:
Paolo Viani – Lead Guitars
Salvatore Bonaccorso - Drums
Gianluca Tassi - Bass
Daniele Soravia -Keyboards
Emanuele Cendron - Lead Vocals
Record Label: IceWarrior Records
     


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