“Reflections in the Hourglass” is the second album from the Swedish band Soniq Circus. After their self-titled debut album (2007) the band had some changes in the band line-up to undergo. Former lead vocalist Calle Lennartsson decided to quite music and keyboardist Mathias Beckius was replaced by Marco Ledri. Main composer Marcus Enochsson took over the microphone.
Marcus Enochsson - guitars, vocals; Marco Ledri - keyboards, backing vocals; Markus Nilsson - basses, backing vocals; Christer Ugglin - drums, backing vocals
The opener “Inside the Hourglass 3am” reminds me in the first part to the AOR music of bands like Styx. Maybe it is because of the keyboard sound and vocal parts. The second part is more neo-prog orientated. The first thing that I notice is that the sounds of keyboardist Marco Ledri are important in the music of Soniq Circus. “In Formula” has more symphonic influences and we can hear some nice melodic guitar and keyboard solos. “Actor” is an up-tempo heavy rock song. The rhythm section gives the music a metal bite and the keyboards give the music that symphonic (neo-prog) touch. In overall a hectic song.
The next song “Shadow Dance” is more diverse and has a lot of symphonic accents. Acoustic guitars, piano and nice melodic vocal lines. There is also a nice dual between the guitar of Marcus Enochsson and the synths of Marco Ledri.
“Childbirth” is a short keyboard track with a delicate piano and is a kind of intro to the longest track of the album entitled “By the Heartshaped Lake”. This diverse track has a lot of rhythm changes, melodic vocal refrains and some nice instrumental parts. In the second part we can enjoy a delicious fat synth solo. This track is one of the highlights of the album.
“Learning to talk” opens with a short delicate keyboard intro with acoustic guitar. I like the keyboard sounds of Marco Ledri on this album. He is together with Marcus Enochsson responsible for the symphonic character of this cheerful track. The rhythm section is taking care for the heavy accents. In the end we hear a fat synth solo which reminds me of the style of Derek Sherinian. “Outside the Hourglass 4am” is closing this fine album with some nice melodies and beautiful keyboard sounds. This song has a beautiful arrangement and has some nice instrumental parts.
With “Reflections in the Hourglass” Soniq Circus delivers a fine progressive rock album with a touch of modern metal and symphonic rock from the 70's. Both personal changes have been for the better, especially keyboardist Marco Ledri made a good impression on me. On this album you can find some good songs. In my opinion the second part of the album is stronger than the first one. I would describe the music Soniq Circus is presenting here as symphonic/neo-prog with a metal bite.