Album review: MIRKA RANTANEN’s CIRCUS OF ROCK – Come One Come All


Frontiers [release date 06.08.21]

Circus Of Rock is a multiple guests band … singers, musicians … put together by King Company drummer boy, Mirka Rantanen. The album, Come One Come All is the realisation of a life long ambition, a “dream come true” according to the man himself.

The cheesy “Welcome To The Circus” spoken intro, followed by maniacal, clownish laughter tells you all you need to know. Circus Of Rock provides old fashioned, in your face rock’n'roll entertainment, spiked with loud guitars and metallised riffs.

And with bravura vocal performances from, among others, Danny (Tyketto) Vaughn, Pasi (Thunderstone) Rantanen and Rick (Masterplan) Altzi, there’s ample here to satisfy the appetites of even the most ravenous of hard rock and melodic metal fans.

Big hitters Johny (Hardline) Gioeli and Marco (Nightwish/Tarot) Hietela create a big, bold benchmark with ‘Desperate Cry’ and ‘Ghost Town’. Gioeli’s track evolves rapidly into a powerful, stomping, riff heavy sensory assault, topped off with a towering edifice of a chorus. His gravelly vocals just about anchor it to solid ground.

And as with everything Hietela touches, there’s a constant pulse to the material … a musical heartbeat that speeds and slows as the surging, symphonic metal arrangement rises and falls. His voice acts as conductor, allowing for a much more graphic musical style.

Having set the standard, everything thereafter provides full on sonic engagement. Yes, it falters a little on the album’s second half, some uneveness is inevitable with 14 different vocalists, but the first half is almost incomparable.

Picks are ‘Never’, an out and out heart on its sleeve rock song, tuned into the melodies, harmonies and simple sentiments of 80′s AOR, sung by the master, Kimmo (Leverage) Blom. Producer Rantanen then creates a suitably dramatic musical backdrop for Elize (Amaranthe) Ryde to create her own brand of vocal sympatico. She promptly obliges with an epic “sounds-like-a-Bond-theme” ‘Times Of Despair’.

As dreams go, this one turned out pretty good. ****

Review by Brian McGowan

Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 22 May.

Next session: Sunday 17 July.

Check out previous videos here:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 June 2022.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 21 June 2022.

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages:

Power Plays w/c 27 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
REVIVAL BLACK Broken Home (TMR Records)
FLOYA Epiphany (indie)
TWISTER Own Worst Enemy (indie)
MODERN MIMES Down And Dead (Curtain Call Records)
TUNGSTEN Northern Lights (Arising Empire)
THE GREAT LESLIE Feel Alive (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 27 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GRACE Hope (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To the Show (Better Noise Music)
14:00-16:00 TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT Day By Day (indie)

Popular (last 30 days)

This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply