Normally, when Norwegian Metal-stars gather outside from their original band, that's in order to make something very punchy and of very good quality, just like ZYKLON B for example.
With "The Sideshow", GRIFFIN created the first exception to this rule. First of all, GRIFFIN's members are originally from ATROX, BLOODTHORN or DARK AGES, which are completely different bands, and whom you don't really imagine jamming in the same room. But well, as some said, the multicultural and open-minded way is the right one… the thing is that it's wrong here.
GRIFFIN aren't playing a weird mix of Black Metal and pop, but old school Heavy Metal, just as German bands from the 80's were playing, a bit a la ACCEPT, but with more melodies. Musically, I have to admit it, they do their thing well. Big sound, good guitars, and everything well played. It looks like those little fellows are having fun together and enjoy playing the music that they were listening to when they were fifteen years old. The problem is that, even if they don't care, they have completely copied the structures and other characteristics of their influences, thus creating a kind of cover-album, but with a voice that's definitely not the right one for that style.
So they're having fun. While they're having so much fun, the listener is not.