Leverage - Circus Colossus
There's no denying the emotional intent of instrumental opener 'Rise'.
It's powerfully neo classical, with all the sweet cinematic attraction of a seasonal soundtrack. Released in November, it shows perfect timing.
From there, a seamless segue takes us into big production number 'The Wolf And The Moon' and we're off and running with the Finnish metallers' third release.
The band's first two albums, 'Tides' and 'Blind Fire', blended classic rock with contemporary neo classical and power metal elements, gaining them a legion of fans in the process.
'Circus.' is less immediate and undeniably heavier. Vocalist Heino's affinity for the sound of eighties' melodic rock giants like Night Ranger and Van Halen is now less to the fore, subsumed by Spoof's and Hekkinen's marginally harder and heavier influences.
Though arguably, it's more of a consolidation than a colossus . . . if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
What these guys do so well is pump up the production values and trowel on the bombast, framing the songs - and some great melodies - in epic, widescreen soundscapes, with the occasional handful of proggy grit thrown into the mix.
Consummate musicianship coupled with imagination and flair in the studio will carry you a long way. Combine that with great songwriting and you get noticed.
Great example is the exultant arena rock of 'Movie Gods'. Just on this one track, the music morphs gracefully through a quick change parade of styles, from melodic rock to melodic metal to progrock and back again.
'Worldbeater' and 'Rider Of Storms' weld Jorn like power metal to steely, Wasp like hard rock, with climactic keyboards moving purposefully over thundering guitars, racing to hooky crescendos.
The dramatic, rushing, single release, 'Legions Of The Invisible' distills the band's sound - a tight knit dynamic and an urgent, driving beat propels a gloriously uplifting, multi layered melody. As immediate and accessible as it gets. 
Compared to vocalist Pekka Heino's "other" band, Brother Firetribe, the music of Leverage is a darker, heavier beast, but with 'Circus Colossus', as with the previous 2 releases, the shadows are illuminated by lightning bolts of brilliance.

Written by Brian
Thursday, January 14, 2010
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Comment by Alanna (Staff) - Saturday, January 16, 2010
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OMG! I had NO idea this was out. It excited me so much I still feel lightheaded. THANK YOU for the review. I have to get this... now.

Posted by Alanna (Staff)
Saturday, January 16, 2010

Comment by Brian (Staff) - Sunday, January 17, 2010
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I know, considering it's distributed by Universal, it's received very little publicity.
I came across it by accident. By what a lucky find!

Posted by Brian (Staff)
Sunday, January 17, 2010

Review by Brian

Released by
Spinefarm / Universal - 2009

Wolf And The Moon
Movie Gods
Rider Of Storms
Legions Of Invisible
Don't Keep Me Waiting
Broken Wings

Melodic Metal (ish)

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