SAVAGE CIRCUS - DREAMLAND MANOR - DOCKYARD 1
No, this is not an unreleased Blind Guardian album - it is the debut of former BG drummer Thomen Stauch’s new band Savage Circus. Together with Iron Savior mastermind Piet Sielck and the two former Persuader members Jens Carlsson (vocals) and Emil Norberg, the band has recorded an album in the tradition of Tales From The Twilight World or Somewhere Far Beyond. The opener Evil Eyes already features the typical dual harmony leads echoing each other that were once a trademark of Blind Guardian. Between The Devil And The Seas could have been on Imaginations From The Other Side, and the rest of the songs just continues in that vein. It is amazing how close Carlsson is to Hansi Kuersch’s voice - fans will hardly know the difference. Two things can be criticized, though: First, the album sounds too much like Blind Guardian. A bit more originality will be necessary on the second album. Second, the songs are all fast and straightforward, except for the semi-ballad Beyond Reality. The song writing lacks variation. But aside from that, the CD is a great album for old BG fans who do not like the complicated sound of A Night At The Opera. - Andreas Herzog
SAVAGE CIRCUS - DREAMLAND MANOR - CENTURY MEDIA
They must be pulling our collective legs! Savage Circus is supposed to be the new band of former Blind Guardian drummer Thomen Stauch, except the music on the album is identical to that very same act. Indeed, it sounds like Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kursch is on vocals here as well. Perhaps “Jens Carlsson of Persuader” is really an alias for Kursch? On the other hand the album/band also features Piet Sielck thereby regrouping half of Iron Savior! It is all a little too confusing.
Dreamland Manor is an exact replica of Blind Guardian’s mid-'90s albums like Nightfall In Middle Earth or Imaginations From The Other Side. The vocals, the guitar tonality, the drums of course and the fantasy themes are all intact here. The only reason one probably should not use the term 'cloning' is because Thomen was once a creator of the music in Blind Guardian.
Now, are you sure this is not a practical joke by the Blind Guardians?
If this is a new band with new music then the task of reviewing it and describing the music has been made very easy. Fans do not need to guess either. They know exactly what this sounds like. Look for power metal with interludes of speed metal, fantasy lyrics, titles like Evil Eyes, Between The Devil And The Seas, Tomorrowland, Born Again By The Night (probably the best song here despite the relative similarity of the tuneage) and When Hell Awakes and over 57 minutes of music that is vintage Blind Guardian. The Canadian version of the CD comes with a video for the song Evil Eyes that, if nothing else, at least should prove that the man on vocals is not Hansi. - Anna Tergel