SONIQ CIRCUS "Reflections in the hourglass"
"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.
The eight-tracks on Reflections in the Hourglass are all mostly on the longish side coming in at seven-minutes or longer. The album is 60-minutes long and is essentially a loose concept album of a man who awakens at 3am and spends the next hour thinking about his life before falling asleep at 4am. Given the change in line-up the band have taken on a slightly harder edge and yet continue to employ many symphonic elements in their music, hence the description; heavy symphonic prog. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is prog-metal because it’s not. Even though the guitars are heavy in spots there are also plenty of moments where the music breathes with a soft airiness. We go from dramatic musical crescendos to grand anthemic choruses with lots of unusual musical transitions holding it all together. The other musical elements that jump out at me are the many quirky time-changes and minor-chord musical change-ups giving the music a denseness and complexity you might not expect. There are odd little guitar or keyboard riffs sprinkled throughout. One gets the feeling there is so much happening in each tune and yet you know it’s going to change direction yet again in a minute. At the same time it is the melody line that drives these compositions even when it’s multiple melodies or the melody changes. We’re still left with some memorable bits.
There is a definite maturity on display in Reflections in the Hourglass. The band is tight and playing well together. The production is first rate. So as I mentioned at the outset if you enjoy your prog with a little heavier edge but still displaying symphonic tendencies then this second release from Soniq Circus has much to offer. I highly recommend it"