Savage Circus - Dreamland Manor review


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Band: Savage Circus
Album: Dreamland Manor
Release date: August 2005

01. Evil Eyes
02. Between The Devil And The Seas
03. Waltz Of The Demon
04. Tomorrowland
05. It - The Gathering
06. Beyond Reality
07. When Hell Awakes
08. Ghost Story
09. Born Again by The Night
10. Ca Plane Pour Moi [Japanese bonus]

When a new band comes out and sounds just like an already existing band, chances are that they will be totally rejected by both the audience and the press.
But how is it when a member of a band leaves and creates a new band that sounds exactly like his old band?
Well, I guess this album will provide us with that answer.

Thomen "the Omen" Strauch left Blind Guardian earlier this year after almost 20 years in the band, much because he didn't like where the band was going (with that he means the bombastic and very advanced latest album "A Night at the Opera") and wanted to do what Blind Guardian did about ten years ago (the era around "Tales From The Twilight World" & "Somewhere Far Beyond").
And so he did, he left Blind Guardian, teamed up with Piet Sielck (who also introduced him too….), Jens Karlsson (a singer and guitarist that sings almost too alike Hansi) & Emil Norberg (guitarist and brother to Nils Norberg from Nocturnal Rites) from Sweden's Persuader.

They started to work on some material that Thomen already had in mind and everything just worked perfectly.
But now, Piet is not a member of Savage Circus, but he plays the bass on this debut and he is also one of the two (I think) that own the label Dockyard 1, which signed Savage Circus right away.
Anyway, now Thomen, Jens and Emil have carried all the material out, recorded it and also released it, but the final judgement is still to come.
Will the fans and the press accept it? Or will they hate it because it sounds way too much Blind Guardian?

If you ask me, I must say that I just love it. I'm not the biggest fan of Blind Guardian's "Night at the Opera" album (even if I don't hate it either, but it's just not as good as the older ones), and since Thomen and the guys succeeded in writing such great material that rally sounds like "Somewhere Far Beyond anno 2005", I really have to say that this pleases me way much more than "A Night at the Opera", and personally I don't really care that Savage Circus uses almost everything that makes Blind Guardian so special (such as Hansi's voice, the guitar sound).

But on the other hand, how will a total Blind Guardian freak react? I know many of them loved Thomen and were seriously sad when the news of his departure reached the public. But will they forgive him for "stealing"/"borrowing" almost everything Blind Guardian is about?
I will leave that question open for future investigation on this matter, but what I do know is that this album will either be a total success and loved by many or a total flop and hated by everyone.

Before I end this review I'll also give you a small hint of what this album sounds like (except all Guardian-similarities, and also give you a few songs that you could try to see if this is something for you (even if I'm sure that if you like Blind Guardian, or at least liked the albums earlier mentioned, you could buy this album straight ahead without even listen to one single sample first).
Anyway, the album kicks on the way with "Evil Eyes" (which also is the single), a song that sounds much like a typical Blind Guardian song, fast, catchy, lyrical and a great vocal performance by Jens. You'll hear directly what I mean with this review, everything about the Blind Guardian-similarities. And if you like the track you can just go and buy the album straight away.

Here comes the bad part with my promotion copy, all the remaining songs, all eight of them are putted together to one large song on over 47 minutes (to prevent illegal file-sharing on internet), so it takes a lot of time and attention to listen to it for reviewing purpose.
But anyway, "Between the Devil and the Seas" just follows up where "Evil Eyes" left us, even if this song is a bit slower, it's still old Blind Guardian for the whole coin.

And so it goes on, each and every song sounds very much like Blind Guardian, and if you play this record for someone that just knows a little about Blind Guardian, you can easily trick them to believe that they are listening to a new Blind Guardian record.
But if you're a more experienced listener you'll hear at least two differences, one in Jens's voice, while Hansi has this soft and clean undertone in his voice, Jens is rawer and his voice isn't as suited for ballads. The second thing is the lyrics and titles, they are a bit different from Blind Guardian, I mean I don't think we'll ever get a BG song named "Evil Eyes" or "Waltz of the Demon".

To conclude everything I just have to share some personal thoughts about this whole thing. I said earlier that I liked the albums, and so I do. I actually like this album more than I like the latest Blind Guardian album. I think Thomen was right, BG's latest album was strange and really not what I think Blind Guardian should be doing. Not that it's a bad album, not at all but it's not as good as "Somewhere Far Beyond" for example.
Nor is "Dreamland Manor" either, but it could have been a great addition to Blind Guardian's discography, in my opinion.
And so, see the whole thing like this, now we have two Blind Guardian, more or less, can we ever get too much of the greatness?

Check Out: "Evil Eyes", "Between the Devil and the Seas" & "Beyond Reality".

Written by Malcolm | 03.09.2005


Staff review by
No no mates, you're not listening the new or unreleased album of Blind Guardian, but the first album of Savage Circus the new band of Mr Thomen Stauch ex drummer of the Guardians. If I must confess that I like the music and the album in general, I can't deny it, but I'm a bit upset too because this album is a total rip off of a Blind Guardian period "Imaginations From The Other Side". Evidently Thomen Stauch was and will ever be one of the souls of Blind Guardian, but I don't understand why he had to do something so similar…

published 28.09.2005 | Comments (2)


Comments: 9   Visited by: 62 users
02.08.2006 - 01:15
freakin awesome album sounds just like classic Guardian!!
02.08.2006 - 01:53
Great album probably one of top 5 power metal records to come out since 2000. Although it shares alot similar qualities with Blind Guardian there sound is still alot different. I wish all the members of Blind Guardian would have shared the same views as Thomen because I'd much rather hear something like this then A Twist In the Myth.
13.10.2006 - 21:56
Rosetta Stoned
75% Blind Guardian 20% Iron Savior 5% Persuader (which sound like BG anyway, so u could say 80% Persuader).
30.04.2007 - 17:05
Account deleted
I don't give a feck about them sounding similar to BG. I like this more than any BG album after Nightfall in middle Earth.
This one simply rocks. It's an album worth a 10, but due to lack of Originality Ill rate this one with a 9
04.07.2007 - 22:13
Account deleted
Written by BORT on 02.08.2006 at 01:15

freakin awesome album sounds just like classic Guardian!!

I completely agree, this first production Dreamland Manor, It sounds as the classic Blind Guardian of the times of Imaginations From The Other Side.
04.04.2009 - 23:39
The Shape 1973
Not in to Blind Guardian so can't comment on similarity, but really sounds like Iron Savior to me, just like Condition Red.
So when do the zombies arrive?
28.01.2010 - 22:38
Nicko's Nose
How can you guys respect a fucking clone?
09.01.2014 - 23:43
"The Quaker"
Written by Nicko's Nose on 28.01.2010 at 22:38

How can you guys respect a fucking clone?

It's pretty easy - cause you miss the old one...
20.06.2017 - 18:19
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Nicko's Nose on 28.01.2010 at 22:38

How can you guys respect a fucking clone?

better as original, not clone, kick ass band !
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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