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Labyrinth: Welcome To The Absurd Circus
Labyrinth - Welcome To The Absurd Circus Album Art

Labyrinth: Welcome To The Absurd Circus

Progressive Power Metal
5.0/5.0

In 2016, Italy's Labyrinth was coaxed out of their six year recording hiatus to create a new studio album, resulting in the very fine Architecture of a God. This was followed by Return To Live a CD/DVD set from their appearance at the first annual Frontiers Metal Festival in 2017. Apparently, the resurrection of the band has stuck. Labyrinth returns with their ninth studio album Welcome To The Absurd Circus which features new drummer Mattia Perez from Shadows Of Steel.

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Labyrinth

For most metal fans, Labyrinth needs little introduction. Since 1994, the sextet has been one of the seminal Italian and classic European progressive power metal bands. 1998's Returned To Heaven Denied is still considered a classic to this day. This year's Welcome To The Absurd Circus is pretty terrific as well. As usual, the album features the well-known Labyrinth musical characteristics: the gallop and groove of power metal infused with twin guitar riff harmony and sizzling solos, a hefty dash of synth embellishment, and strong vocal arrangements featuring the versatile Robert Tiranti. Obviously, since formed by two guitarists, Andrea Cantarelli and Olaf Thorsen, you can expect a massive wall of riffage and torrent of bristling solos. These things are abundant throughout the album, with impressive guitar slinging within Finally Free, The Absurd Circus, Den Of Snakes, and Live Today.

Exploring a little more, that title cut is a fine example of where a musical breakdown delivers the guitar solo while floating over some fine acoustic guitar and bass work. Similar is Finally Free with another fine guitar solo segue about midpoint, followed by an acoustic guitar solo. Or is it a bass solo? The sound seemed suspiciously the same.

Labyrinth also puts the "power" into their progressive power metal with many songs being fast and heavy like Live Today, The Absurd Circus, or Sleepwalker. Alternatively, some songs turn on the juxtaposition of lightness (often with vocals) and metal heaviness (in the riffage and tempo) as with As Long As It Lasts or The Unexpected. With A Reason To Survive, Labyrinth delivers a classic metal ballad featuring Tiranti's fine voice over acoustic guitar wrapped in a symphonic synth context. All things considered, Labyrinth's Welcome To The Absurd Circus is another entertaining album of their trademark creative and engaging progressive power metal. Fans of the band and the genre should not miss it. Easily recommended.




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The Bottom Line

All things considered, Labyrinth's Welcome To The Absurd Circus is another entertaining album of their trademark creative and engaging progressive power metal. Fans of the band and the genre should not miss it. Easily recommended.

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