Thursday, 6 March 2014

A.C.T – Circus Pandemonium (CD)

I will not deny it; A.C.T has been one of my all-time favorite melodic prog-bands ever since their debut found its way to my ears. The playfulness, quirky melodies, extremely tight and skillful musicianship and clever arrangements totally blew me away… album after album! It was a little worrying that the 2006 album was entitled “Silence”, and it was actually taken quite literally. It all went quiet after this. Promises and hints of a new album came and went. Now, FINALLY, the band has again resurfaced, and with this, I’m happy to say, releasing probably their best album to date. It’s still the same band, same sound and same quirky songs, but they have still evolved. It feels like they have become a bit heavier in the guitar department in some places, but they still mix this heaviness with Queen meets City Boy style pop melodies. I’m still amazed how a band can succeed in making such intricate and complicated songs sound so playful and easy accessible! There are so many elements to this album it’s just impossible to mention them all. It’s like the best of melodic prog rock assembled into one album and melted together into one nice slice of pie. This is a concept album. Well, honestly, when other bands make concept albums (except Rush) they more or less fall flat because they try too much and it just becomes too pretentious. Well, this is normal A.C.T territory, so no difference here, besides the songs link together nicely. It’s actually quite hard to hear when one song ends and another begins since they fit so perfectly together and because the songs in general have so many variations and tempo changes. It’s really no use getting into specific songs and song titles. I simply can’t pick any favorites. It’s all just one big beautiful organized mess! You’ve done it again, boys, better than ever!!
Janne Stark
Label: self-released/Marquee (Japan)
Year: 2014
Country: Sweden


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