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Deadly Circus Fire: The King And The Bishop

Sublime, progressive metallers throw their hats into the ring

The four members of Deadly Circus Fire might sport clown make-up but they’re certainly not here for laughs. The Londoners have spent three years honing a sound that straddles the fence between prog-rock experimentation and heavy metal ferocity, and at long last it’s time to take them very seriously indeed.

This full-length debut was given away with Hammer but is now available as a digital download. When we call them prog, just forget about bearded geography teachers; there are no tortuous keyboard solos or lyrics about Hobbits here. What DCP do is more akin to the primal unpredictability of Tool or Mastodon, twinned with the soundtrack to the battle of the Somme.

Adam Grant alternates his gruffness of his vocals, depending upon whether a song is dense and hypnotic (Blackout, Black Mask) or more inclined to cause a soiling of the listener’s underwear (Nothing, Threnody). Progressive metal with a grimly fiendish twist, this is strong, visceral, often haunting stuff.