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Orpheus Nine - Transcendental Circus CD (album) cover

TRANSCENDENTAL CIRCUS

Orpheus Nine

 

Heavy Prog

4.08 | 42 ratings

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Voyage-de-la-vie
5 stars Amidst the sprawling garden of progressive delights sown in 2017, it is quite conceivable that I was most gobsmacked by discovering Transcendental Circus, the maiden voyage of American ensemble Orpheus Nine. These four lads hatched from the obscure ether to unearth a genuine tour de force that is vibrantly alive and exciting, rendered with the urgency and passion of hungry souls dependent on this music for their very survival.

That they possess virtuosic talent is obvious, but what become more evident over time are the memorable melodies they so intricately and tunefully weave into this elaborate fabric. What must also be lauded is the preternatural versatility on display here. To shiftless listeners who may find yourselves merely and dutifully pointing to moments of past prog splendour, I implore you to consider: how often have your heroes garnished a single record with such an eclectic potpourri of texture and style? Indeed an artist risks greatly by shunning a telltale stamp, to which one may cling for staid comfort from each strain to the next. Orpheus Nine valiantly accept the challenge, conquering every unforeseen mode with a marriage of clever bravado, elegant finesse, and steadfast conviction. Somehow, it is foremost through their diversity that they forge their uniqueness. Somehow, furthermore, the whole coalesces. This is particularly true of 'The Fall of the House of Keys' which concludes the proceedings.

None among such a bright cast of musical characters shines more brilliantly than the epic suite supplying the album's title. Within this protean magnum opus, tempests and maelstroms dance with fairies and angels, clowns frighten innocent youth, a teacup overflows with sweet humour, elephants declare war and peace, and utter mayhem is organised miraculously into something at once logical and beautiful. Ivory tinklers take note: Jason Kresge densely populates the entire escapade with some of the most exquisite keyboard tapestries this side of Jupiter.

Transcendental Circus is a spectacularly enchanting debut from a band whose future brims with promise.

Voyage-de-la-vie | 5/5 |

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