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Sinkadus (Sweden) - 1999 - "Cirkus"
(48 min, "Cyclops")


****+

1.  Jag Anglamarks bane 13:45
2.  Positivhalaren 7:19
3.  Kakafonia 6:26
4.  Valkyria 10.03
5.  Ulv i faraklader 9:55

All tracks by Sinkadus, except 4 - by F.Karlsson.
All lyrics by R.Bistrom.

Line-up:

Rickard Bistrom  - bass & lead vocals
Fredrik Karlsson - keyboards
Robert Sjoback   - guitars
Mats Segerdahl   - drums
Lena Petterson   - cello
Linda Agren      - flute & vocals

First of all, I must say that until now I wasn't familiar with Sinkadus' creation, though I heard from my friends - very often - their debut album is much better then the current (ie second) one. Maybe, maybe, but "Cirkus" is already an album I like pretty much. Of course, I am honest to the limit, considering any Rock album must contain only English lyrics if it is not an instrumental album. So, I am pretty sure in my honest opinion: if creators of the "Cirkus" CD made it for the majority of progressive rock lovers on Earth (and I think so, as it was released by such a solid British label, "Cyclops", which, unfortunately, lost its American distribution dealer "Griffin Records"; yeah, it is actually obvious, Americans love American Arts - mainly pop-Arts - more than European ones), they should have been recording it with English lyrics, just because English is the international language, isn't it? Lyrics are a very important part of any vocals based work, and I will be a winner thrice if I am able to comprehend some excellent music in conjunction with some excellent lyrics.

You may be asking yourself (if I will be silent here, but, please no worries - I won't be!..), what does it mean to be a winner thrice, hearing from me of only two 'ingredients' (music and lyrics) to feel pleasure in listening to Prog? But, you have to understand it, if you didn't forget of a unique triune set of Arts - of a real Sacred Trinity of Arts - Music, Poetry and Design* - which we have together with any text based musical CD (*I mean a design of booklet, of course, and personally I will always prefer to see on its (especially) cover and back Painting(s) or Graphic Arts instead of Photography, for example). But, thank God, and personally to the creators of "Cirkus", they didn't forget to include in the booklet English verses, translated from Swedish lyrics they sing, too. But, anyway, their singing in their native language 'in the ears' of the whole world has 'eaten' a half of a rating star.

There are, however, not too many vocal episodes on "Cirkus" in general and so it was impossible, all in all, to write really profound lyrics which, on the whole, aren't very typical for Scandinavians generally. On "Cirkus" you can hear (read, sorry) short'n'gloomy fantasy tales with characters and themes, taken 'from nowhere'. Oh, these are just thoughts, but anyway... Maybe, an 'original' perfomance of such primitive lyrics - ie in Swedish - is just a good (though!) policy decision? To the accompaniment of symphonic, yet slightly dark'n'gloomy music, Swedish sounds very well in itself, and it brings some sensation of mystery even in its incomprehensibility.

But all right, back to the English translation, having it added to the booklet, the members of Sinkadus are honest, at least. As for the booklet design, it was also made in quite a typical Swedish (Northern?) style - the same dark'n'gloomy landscapes and characters, but what do I do it for, after all: I do like that style and consider such a design very impressive, don't I? (I am a Southern man, though, of course; do you know, Southern Russians are somewhat rather like Italians or Spaniards than our closest Northern congeners, btw?). Well, now it is time to talk about the principal thing of our Trinity. Really, I am wondering now, how bright you are, dear readers - this is the music itself, of course (and please forgive me such a clownery in writing this review - I am just writing it, as always, on-the-spur-of-the-moment). But a few words I have already told with respect to the musical atmosphere on "Cirkus", using the same words I used to describe its lyrics and booklet's design - yes, the music here is also dark and gloomy, and the only Swedish band that plays more or less light music in comparison with most of their countrymen is The Flower Kings. But, they're from a different opera... So, no, or, rather I wanted to say 'yes' - Sinkadus' stylistics are quite typical for Northern musicians in general (have I been telling it already? then sorry!). Anglagard, Anekdoten (even Tiamat - with the exception of their 'deadly' debut album) - atmospherically (and stylistically, on the whole) all these bands are on a par with Sinkadus, and any of those bands I consider bands-masterpieces musically. What is more, talking of Anglagard, I (rather feel than) hear, Sinkadus' music is even a bit (elusively!) similar to the latter's, but anyway, I must admit, at the same time the music of the heroes of these lines is very original. In reality it reminds me some Northern fairy-tale, full of cold beauty and mystique. I've listened to it about ten times already, and it still doesn't bother me. Most likely, like in case with Anglagard, it will never be bothering me, and so I could be back to it from time to time with a permanent feeling of pleasure.

VM. July 31, 2000


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