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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Faith Circus - 2013 Turn Up The Band
Faith Circus - 2013 Turn Up The Band

ARTIST: Faith Circus
ALBUM: Turn Up The Band
LABEL: Melodic Rock Records
YEAR: 2013
SPONSOR: Andrew McNeice


LINEUP: Marc Farrano - vocals * Marius Mörch - guitars * Christer Ottesen - bass * Baard Nordvik - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Restless Heart * 02 Turn Up The Band * 03 Inside The Circus * 04 Born With The Power * 05 Tears You've Never Cried * 06 Love Me Dry * 07 Sunshine Radio * 08 Firesign * 09 Into Your Heart * 10 Follow My Voice



Previously, when we've reviewed bands/artists from the West Coast of Norway, the music has matched the location to a tee. Think Tor Talle and Northern Light, On The Rise, Main Attraction, and a few others. All lovely, melodic, not too heavy, not too OTT. Then up steps Faith Circus who blow that theory right out of the cold western Norwegian waters. The band were signed previously to American label Kivel Records for their 2008 debut (KR-037), but now call Tasmanian label MelodicRock Records home. From Bergen, FC have acquired a reputation as big fans of KISS, and so it eventuated that new guitarist H.K Rein (who replaced Marius Mörch) also had a connection to the masked wonders. His addition has proved to be a windfall for the band. Faith Circus have turned the dials up on 'Turn Up The Band', thanks to Thomas Haugland's production and Denis Ward's mastering.

The Songs
Singer Marc Farrano is the focal point for the rowdy 'Restless Heart', which could be any number of 80's bands by comparison. I'd be hard-pressed to select one in particular. Second up is the title track 'Turn Up The Band'. This one is a big rock anthem with the vocal shout-outs to match. Even AC/DC and KISS would have an issue trying to capture the vocal chants these boys have conjured up. 'Inside The Circus' was a track heard on the recent 'Classic Rock Presents AOR.. issue 10' sampler CD, and was a good choice obviously, as it's a frantic but melodic slice of modern power AOR, if I can describe it as such. If you like bands such as Sturm Und Drang, then 'Born With The Power' should be right up your alley, as it is European, stainless steel in sound and attitude, and clean to boot! 'Tears You've Never Cried' is at that point on the album where the power-ballad kicks in with clockwork like precision. A bit like the afternoon sea breeze in Western Australia called the Fremantle Doctor. A band like this knows how to put a couple of pink marshmallows into their songs to get the right effect. There's nothing wrong with the pure late 80's melodic rock of 'Love Me Dry', a true hair-metal contender and the sort of song you can imagine being played across 1989 era MTV. 'Sunshine Radio' is graced with a super-melodic chorus, not unlike Danger Danger in parts, and all up is a very handy song to have on the CD. 'Firesign' is perhaps the most earthy and organic song here, like a crunchier version of Gotthard. FC deliver another power-ballad with 'Into Your Heart', by now I'm convinced these guys have got the art of writing power-ballads sewn up, though I'm not sure they'd agree or want the diploma that goes with it! Still, it's pretty damned good. Even with the inclusion of some synth parts, 'Follow My Voice' is still operating at the hard rock spectrum and not AOR. In fact, the band have said in their bio that underneath it all, they are just a rock n roll band at heart.

In Summary
MelodicRock Records also bundled a bonus CD with this release. It was the 2008 debut album remixed and remastered. There are some guests scattered across both CD's such as Robin Beck, James Christian, Tony Harnell plus keyboardist Tore Risa. I really wanted to focus on the newer material, but if I get time, I might re-address the bonus CD in a separate article. In the meantime, there's a wealth of good to great material on 'Turn Up The Band' that warrants your attention.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on December 29 2013 17:32:29
One listen, and I'm having to rethink my best-of-2013 list. This sounds like a lot of the great releases of the 1988 - 1991 timeframe (Winger comes to mind immediately). The remixed debut is a winner too.
#2 | gdazegod on December 29 2013 20:19:37
Marius Morch is credited as playing on the album, according to the liner notes, not H.K Rein. A lot of reviews out there do not acknowledge this fact.
#3 | jeffrey343 on March 09 2016 15:38:22
This has settled in very near the top of my 2013 list. It just really hits the spot for me - something new that sounds like it could have come straight from the late 80s. Marc Farrano has the perfect voice for this style. The first two songs are staples on playlists for me. I mentioned Winger as a comparison, and I'll toss Black 'N' Blue in there as well (with better vocals).

The remixed debut has several killer songs too. It's not overall as strong, but it's quite good too. I've tossed around a review of it in my head. I'll try to write something up unless George beats me to it.

It's a shame these guys called it quits around a year ago. I'm sure they'd be good for a few more great albums like this. Hope that Farrano gets together with some other like-minded dudes for something similar to this - not too hard, definitely not too soft - just right in the hard melodic rock sweet spot.
#4 | gdazegod on March 09 2016 20:46:23
I probably won't get around to the debut CD Jeff.
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