Title - 'Flying Circus'
Artist - Flying Circus
For those unaware, after a 30 year band history (their anniversary was in 2020), a nostalgic look back would certainly have been allowed for progressive hard rockers Flying Circus from the German Rhineland town of Grevenbroich (especially if you present a "best of" album with 15 songs from seven previous releases).
Instead, Michael Dorp (vocals), Michael Rick (guitar), Rüdiger Blömer (keyboards and violin), Roger Weitz (bass) and Ande Roderigo (drums) decided to spend their anniversary year bringing a large part of their old repertoire into the here and now.
Ergo, all songs on this album that were originally released before 2011 have now been completely re-recorded with the band's current line-up, and all tracks older than 2020 have been given a fresh mix.
Only the two numbers originally from the concept album 1968, which is not even a year old, remain completely unchanged, and with 'Dystopia' - a song that is decidedly meant as a commentary on the current political situation - we also find a brand new song on this release.
1. 'The World Is Mine'
3. 'Fire (I Wanna Go)'
5. 'Bedevere's Wake'
6. 'Cut It Deep'
8. 'Follow The Empress'
9. 'Carpe Noctem'
10. 'Living a Lie'
11. 'The Hopes We Had (In 1968)'
12. 'Voices in the Rain'
13. 'Pride of Creation'
14. 'The Edge of the World'
15. 'The Jewel City'
Opening on the earnest, impassioned, Renaissance-imbibed 'The World Is Mine' and the rocker 'Dystopia,' they back those up seamlessly with the
gently melodic 'Fire (I Wanna Go),' the mid-tempo prog of 'Seasons,' the achingly brilliant storytelling of 'Bedevere's Wake' and then we get the prog spiral of 'Cut It Deep,' the fiddled, Celtic-imbued wonderment of 'Derby,' and then the beautiful ebb and flow of 'Follow The Empress.'
Next up is the harmonic 'Carpe Noctem' and the frenetic prog rock of 'Living a Lie,' which are themselves backed by the foot-tappin' 'The Hopes We Had (In 1968),' the lusciously ambient 'Voices in the Rain,' with the album rounding out on the funky guitars of 'Ride of Creation,' the generous prog opus 'The Edge of the World,' coming to a close on the drum-led 'The Jewel City.'
Luckily for all us fans, the re-recordings of the older songs offer lots of surprises, perhaps none more so that when singer Michael Dorp hands over the vocals to drummer Ande Roderigo for the acoustic ballad 'Carpe Noctem.'
Or when keyboardist Rüdiger Blömer garnishes classic Flying Circus tracks like 'Seasons' or the aforementioned 'Carpe Noctem' with either insanely dexterous, or simply beautiful, solos on his other instrument, the violin.
Blömer's string arrangements, implemented by him recording each violin individually instead of using samples (such as with the massive bombast opener 'The World Is Mine'), further demonstrate what a high degree of musicianship Flying Circus have assembled since the current line-up came together in 2012.
Official Purchase Links
Flying Circus @ YouTube
Flying Circus @ Facebook
Flying Circus @ Instagram
'Seasons' - Official Flying Circus 4K Video