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Review: Leverage - Circus Colossus
Circus Colossus

Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 47:57
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal


Review online: July 21, 2011
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.15/5 (83%) (20 Votes)

Leverage's last album Blind Fire was a slick and sensible piece of modern power metal that really showed some good, hard work put into it, and had some cool as hell songs to boot. Now we have Circus Colossus, and I just don't think this one is up to par. Well, that's about all the introduction you need; let's start the review!

First off, the production is the best the band ever had, and the opening track "Wolf and the Moon" is just about the best song the band has ever written; I will put that on the table now. It has some serious flare and pomp, a grand vision, and it utilizes the heightened production to create a gestalt of melodic metal. The choirs are humongous, the vocals are awesome and the song is just a winner all the way through – hugely catchy and powerful. "Movie Gods" is also a good song, despite having really stupid lyrics that try their damndest to ruin it.

After that the album just doesn't produce great material. Leverage have gotten a great producer on board, as everything sounds big and epic, but the songwriting is hugely derivative and not really that interesting beyond the first two tracks. A lot of these songs – "Riders of Storm," "Worldbeater," "Prisoners" – end up sounding like outtakes off the last album, and if you like Leverage they will sound way too familiar for their own good. The band relies more on orchestral choirs and big-sounding drums and guitars than actually writing good, solid tunes as they had in the past, and where the songs used to flow as powerful and hooky units, here a lot of them lack momentum or drive. "Wolf and the Moon" will get you so pumped up that you will think the rest of the album is awesome, too, but listen again. Listen closer, and you will hear what I'm talking about.

The last song "Broken Wings" is pretty damn awesome, too, but by then it's too little, too late – especially for such a promising band on their first two albums. I think Leverage still has some great material in them, but this album does not display that at all. Chalk Circus Colossus up as a disappointment – better luck next time, guys.

More about Leverage...
Review: Blind Fire (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Tides (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Interview with vocalist Paolo Ribaldini on April 3, 2024 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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