A.C.T - Circus Pandemonium

A.C.T Circus Pandemonium cover
Circus Pandemonium
Just when I gave up hope on A.C.T, they appeared as weirdly & suddenly as they had disappeared. I thought that “Silence” (read the review here), would have been the band’s passport to be among the top progressive, theatrical, operatic rock/metal acts of our time… but obviously something went wrong and we lost track of them for about 8 years.
Thankfully, the strange Swedish progressives are back with an album which combines all these elements from their back-catalogue that made them known. Hence prog rock/metal music is blended with piano, operatic, symphonic, theatrical, rock, melodic, atmospheric, pop-rock, art-rock, funky & reggae features. The album is full of unanticipated twists, rhythm & mood changes, tempo variations, wonderful melodies & memorable hooks. Yeap, A.C.T are kinda invincible in their own game. Their Queen influences have been filtered and brilliantly digested to serve their own sound.
“Circus Pandemonium” is a concept album about a circus in the early 1900s where all events occur. The main characters are: a sinister ringmaster, a tamer who can talk to animals, a clown who has a drinking problem, a pretty line dancer and a freak who dreams of a better life. I guess that’s where the word “pandemonium” fits. 15 tracks – about 56 minutes of music – where A.C.T unfold all the stories taking place in the circus. Nice little speaking parts that help the story move on along with pleasant music themes give a histrionic & intense tone to the final outcome.
Certainly, those years of absence haven’t taken their toll on A.C.T in the music part. They have only affected the band’s PR relations in the music industry and probably their fan base who had lost the band’s traces for many years. The music industry has changed a lot since 2006 and A.C.T re-appear in a time when things are not that rosy for bands & musicians. Musically & technically they are in great shape.
A few tracks (“The End”, “Everything’s Falling”, “A Truly Gifted Man”, “A Mother’s Love”) on “Circus Pandemonium” will grab your attention right from the start while it will take several listens to get the story & its characters right. A.C.T made an imposing comeback with “Circus Pandemonium”… let’s wish they keep it up and go on as the prog rock/metal genre needs such artistic & imaginative acts like them…