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Tangerine Circus - Urania CD (album) cover


Tangerine Circus

Progressive Metal

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of my favorite Mexican bands of the moment!

As I've said several times, it is a delight when I discover bands from my own country whose talent has led them to create wonderful music that deserves to be spread around the world. One of those bands is Tangerine Circus, a four-member project from Mexico City created back in 2009 which makes progressive rock with a clear metal tendency. They actually composed their first songs that year (2009), songs that would be released 6 years later when their debut record saw the light as an official release. Its name is Urania and features 6 amazing songs including two long epics ranging from 12 to 19 minutes.

The album starts with "Into Her Traveling Mind", the shortest track of the album but a wonderful introduction to their music. It features bombastic keyboards with some celestial-like choirs, greatly contrasted by the power of guitar, bass and drums. Since this very first track one can easily notice they are trained and talented musicians whose skills in composition and performance don't ask anything to anyone. This is an instrumental track for the likes of people who like progressive metal with superb technique, but also with some passages full of emotions.

"Cycle of Madness" is the first track that features vocals, and though they don't really have a true singer, they wanted to share that responsibility together, so the four members sing in different passages of the album. The lyrics are in English, a wise decision because it allows them to be better appreciated worldwide. Fast moments full of energy and great skills are shown all over the minutes, so be ready because this is just the beginning.

"Rushing Dreams" has again that fast and powerful sound that take elements from different kind of metal eras and from bands that have inspired Tangerine Circus. Two of those bands are Rush and Dream Theater, which is why the title is Rushing Dreams, it is like a kind of rendition to those big bands whose influence can be appreciated in different moments of this song of course (you will remember Tom Sawyer), but also of the whole record. "Neverending Love" has a much softer feel, a ballad-like start with calm voice and delicate strings. After a minute and a half it makes a change, drums enter little by little and then the song develops that romantic sound that evidently contrasts with the previous compositions. A very good track whose last two minutes are very emotional with a cool guitar riff included.

Now the big one. "The Wings" is the longest composition here reaching the 19-minute mark. An ambitious song that put Tangerine Circus in the major league of prog metal; a song that takes a lot of elements from their influences and likes. It starts with acoustic guitar ala Espaņola, after a minute keyboards, drums and bass create a pretty cool structure that develops a catchy and interesting sound that reminds me a bit of Steven Wilson and Opeth, and that progresses all the time, increasing the energy of the guitar and drums, but contrasted with a sooth piano sound. I love how the song flows, so no matter its different passages it is always great and enjoyable. At minute six everything vanishes but bass, it brings some nice notes just before a bombastic explosion of fury begins, keyboards become crazy and take over the world, greatly accompanied by drums, bass and guitar, now all together in a vertiginous journey. But you know, after the storm it comes the calm, and this happens here so we can enjoy a passage full of softness and tranquility.

A new passage begins after 12 minutes, keyboards plays repetitive but hypnotic notes and then the music explodes again, having a sense of joy on it which is transmitted to the listener, so the only thing one can do is enjoying it. This is actually something I'd like to point out, the two times I've witnessed Tangerine Circus on stage, it has been clear to me that these four guys love and enjoy what they do, so it is common to look at their faces and see them smiling, feeling the music, and that, believe me, makes the experience even better. The next episode brings some dark voices made by keyboards and a wonderful bass-keyboard chat for some seconds. The music and the experiences seem to be endless, and that is great because when a song is great, it does not matter if 5, 10 or 15 minutes have passed, one does not notice the length but the quality, and this song, is a monster, a wonder, believe me.

The album finishes with another gem entitled "A Passage Through My Past Life", a song that I would say sums up what Tangerine Circus' music is about, in fact, this was the first song I listened from them, a piece that made me feel curious and interested about them and made me explore more of their tunes. Actually I think this is a song the band themselves like a lot, so go figure. The keyboards background is always excellent, prominent and adequate; the drums constant, heavy or soft always great; bass lines are never plain so it is easy to notice those ever-changing lines and notes, and of course the guitar is also amazing while making the rhythm and while giving those great riffs. This song was a perfect choice to finish this wonderful album.

So in conclusion, Tangerine Circus is a band that you should not miss, mainly if you are a prog metal fan, but I invite any prog fan to discover them and I assure you will have a positive experience.

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Posted Monday, June 6, 2016 | Review Permalink

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