Tangerine Circus: The Conspiracy Chronicles

Metallic/new-age prog from Mexico, with symphonic leanings.

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Yes it’s a confusing strapline, but it does give an idea of the maelstrom of sounds here. Is it neo-classical? Prog metal? Symphonic metal? Who knows.

The Conspiracy Chronicles contains a veritable Narnia of progressive sub-genres. It was cut a couple of years ago, but after struggles with finding a singer the material was eventually re-recorded; vocals and sound quality ironed out. The record starts with a full, Hans Zimmer-nodding orchestral piece; all lush strings and contemporary classicism. It ends with a 15-minute prog rock opus, which veers through ambient shades, classic prog and furious prog metal. And that is without taking into account the mass of stuff in the middle. The brooding prog metal of Threshold is evoked in Through Heaven. Theatrical synths and folk hints blend with beefy chords for a symph-metal effect – as seen in the galloping Nightwish-esque pomp of Lifestream. And the 20-minute The Conspiracy, while a little on the moody/slightly new-agey side in places, packs in some class riffage and Dream Theater-esque panache. Worth a spin for Nightwish/Within Temptation markets (minus the operatic vocals) and broader prog rock lovers alike.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.