Deadly Circus Fire: The King And The Bishop

Sublime, progressive metallers throw their hats into the ring

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

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.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.