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Deadly Circus Fire: The Hydra's Tailor

The prog metal scene really seems to have perked up in recent times, fewer and fewer acts deciding to show us that they too like Dream Theater. Instead some genuinely progressive elements have been introduced to stunning musicianship to broaden out the horizon of a genre that couldn't have been less progressive and more prog if it tried. Arriving on that stage just before we all begin to wilt under acts bringing the math rock to the metal and the screamo to the prog are London's Deadly Circus Fire, a band who remind of Tool as much as they do Leprous, or Meshuggah as much as they do Opeth - in truth sounding like none of the four. However the point is made that you can expect a real gamut of attacks to be swooped upon across The Hydra's Tailor, as the Finnish melancholy slams into almost Muse like guitars and rasping, raking vocals. It's heady stuff and yet in ways it's hard to say that there are any real "how do they do that?" moments. This isn't a wheel being reinvented but it does at least look more than a little shiny and bright in the hands of Deadly Circus Fire.

The vocals spit and snarl, but they also soar and seduce, while the guitars rip, roar and gently persuade - and it is this ability for DCF to spin on their heels and high tail it in another direction which suggests they are more innovative than they truly are. It's a neat trick and one so convincing it can take place inches from your nose and you'll never catch the sleight of hand. Instead you'll buy fully into the jaggedly subtle sounds as they careen madly past, heading to a sweet and sultry conclusion. Or at least you think they do, for howling voice and heavy cymbal smacks suddenly raise the hackles and heighten the intensity beyond anything anticipated.

That none of this sounds contrived is impressive, that it also sounds simple - not easy - means you won't be intimidated by what's on offer. If however you seek something deeper, more convoluted and longer in the unravelling, you'll also find that in this Tailor's bag of tricks. Moments on this album are so sweet that you'd happily sit your mother down for a spot of afternoon tea as they are unveiled and yet when the scones and cream are all snaffled and mummy dear ushered from the door, the towering force behind it all can suddenly burst free; aggression as suitable a weapon for Deadly Circus Fire as the glint of seductive control which is found in their eye.

The Hydra's Tailor is a high set bar for Deadly Circus Fire to vault in years to come, but that's a task for another day. In the meantime, the challenge they've laid out is for others in this genre to continue to push the boundaries in a way which won't isolate the core fans of the music but also doesn't sound like simple retread. Two albums in, if all prog metal bands were this believable, the genre would be progressing in a different manner altogether.

Track Listing
1. In Darkness We Trust
2. Animal
3. Where It Lies
4. Victim
5. Devil's Opera
6. Rise Again
7. Martyrs
8. House Of Plagues
9. Aeden
10. The Hydra's Tailor
11. Turning The Tide
12. Universe

Added: June 29th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Deadly Circus Fire online
Hits: 2079
Language: english

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