LABYRINTH – Welcome to the Absurd Circus
The 2017 offering entitled "Architecture of a God" by the Italian progressive power metallers Labyrinth did not impress me, so I was curious as to how their latest effort, "Welcome to the Absurd Circus", would fare. Luckily, this is a better and much more interesting opus than its predecessor.
Things kick off with the explosive and galloping "The Absurd Circus" and these guys throw quite a few wicked twists and ideas into the tune along the way – all of which works like a charm. The pompous majesty of the aggressive yet varied "Live Today" is seductive and "As Long as It Lasts" is a moving piece. Another standout is "Den of Snakes" thanks to its awesome chorus. The rest of the material more or less follows suit but a couple of tracks midway through ("Word’s Minefield" and "The Unexpected") pale ever so slightly compared to all the others in terms of staying power and substance. However, things quickly pick up again with "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" and "Sleepwalker" – the two highlights of the album. Also, the production is crisp and effective, and the sound packs a lot of punch, so no complaints there.
In general, the quality of the harmonies is impressive, the melodies are suitably dramatic, there is plenty of finesse present on the disc, and the compositions possess depth while also being able to stir the senses. Simply put, "Welcome to the Absurd Circus" is more accomplished than "Architecture of a God" and its minutes of epic power metal offer depth and proper craftmanship. Fans of symphonic and bombastic metal with progressive flavors ought to check it out.