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Tangerine Circus - The Conspiracy Chronicles CD (album) cover


Tangerine Circus

Progressive Metal

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4 stars Tangerine Circus is an amazing progressive metal band coming from Mexico City whose first steps come from 2009, but whose first official productions came some years later in 2015, a year in which Urania (the first album, recorded back in 2009) and The Conspiracy Chronicles (recorded back in 2012) saw the light. Ever since I discovered I've felt lucky because without being a true metal addict, the music of this band entered to my ears so natural that every single time I listen to their music I cannot help but loving it. So it is fair that me, as fan, dedicate some time to review their music and spread the word, because it is worth it. This album is a bit longer than the previous one, consisting of 10 songs including two long epics, making a total time of 80 minutes.

It kicks off with "The Chronicles Overture", a short piece with a classical music feeling created by keyboards that works as the titles says, as an overture. It leads to "Neohuman" in which the other instruments join and together begin to create an adventurous journey that lies into a conceptual album. Of course the tendency of the music goes to the metal side of prog, but there are some moments in which the music is simply prog, not that metal. As I mentioned while reviewing their first album, Tangerine Circus does not have a singer, because the four members sing which is something I like a lot from them.

"Through Heaven" starts with a delicate piano, then drums, voice and strings join in order to prepare a new structure that has a catchy chorus that I love even singing. This is a song I like a lot, it is not that fast or bombastic, it is a kind of charming prog metal that anyone who does not love metal would like, I promise. Both the instrumental and the passages with voice are great, I must say this is one of my favorite Tangerine Circus tunes. "Lifestream" has a folky feeling created by keyboards, acoustic guitar and percussion, then it changes and begins a symphonic prog metal song that I like as well, when once again the musicianship floats and let us know that they are capable of creating uber-complex music and some catchier tunes, but in the end the result is always great, at least to my ears. This song leads to "A Higher State of Mind" whose drumming is outstanding, very fast, powerful and precise. They show off their skills and technique, sharing once again that they have the talent to eat the world and be better known. I love the changes of rhythm because they also bring new atmospheres, nuances and textures that make the music very visual, so one can easily imagine things and create histories on our mind. Great song!

"The Conspiracy" is their longest composition so far, a 20-minute epic that oh my god, is a feast of prog metal at its best. This first four minutes are instrumental serving up the introduction to this Conspiracy; later vocals appear complemented by nice piano notes, great drums and bass, it lasts some for a couple of minutes and then the music changes, in fact they give us a vast amount of changes within this song, changes that are well-thought and never harm the music and its continuity. Keyboards are wonderful all the way, as background and as leader creating some extraordinary solos in the symphonic metal vein (you can notice them once again at minute 10). Another contrast comes at minute 12 when piano stands alone and a soft piece appears reminding me a bit of Marillion (Hogarth era), inviting you to take a deep breath and have some rest for two minutes because later the explosion returns and an emotive symphonic prog metal passage begins now, with excellent and heartfelt guitar riffs included. And so on, some other changes to come taking even some hard rock and 80s metal elements to bring the listener a complete and fabulous journey that never ceases to surprise us.

There is something I must confess, though I like what I listen and I support the band, I believe this album is actually way too long, so it requires a nice mood and enough time to appreciate it as it deserves, otherwise, it is probably that you feel a bit tired after some 50 even 60 minutes. Maybe that long epic would have been a wonderful ending, I don't really know, but this is one of the few cons I found in the album, its long length. Well, it continues with "Spheres" is a nice track that could have belonged to the previous epic, it is much shorter and has a catchy mood that allows anyone to enjoy it in a regular basis, I mean, it is easy to dig in spite of those great riffs. "Advent of the Thinking" has a somber feeling created by strings at first, but later it is becoming smoother so one can close the eyes and feel at peace for a brief moment. However, that somber and tense feeling does not completely disappear, in spite of the rays of hope and brightness that some notes share. This short instrumental track leads to "The Great Elector", another short track that starts with acoustic guitar reminding me a bit of Opeth. Later vocals enter and the song goes easy, a nice folky ballad like piece that slows down the emotions that the big Conspiracy left.

The album finishes with "The Memory Delusion", the second epic of the album running 14 minutes, a song that might work as a kind of reprise of several previous pieces, however, this is a completely different song that made me feel satisfied since the very first time I listened to it. The metal feeling is not present in the first three minutes, then a heavier guitar appears and that feeling becomes present but not that obvious, so the song has that soft metal sound that is closer to symphonic prog in some moments. But wait, because later it changes and becomes soooo proggy and so prog metal, with faster moments and great musicianship that will easily remind you of some older acts such as Dream Theater or Symphony X. A quite long instrumental passage actually, a feast of how to do a great song is represented here. Wonderful way to finish this extraordinary album!

A very solid album by Tangerine Circus that I am sure people around the world would enjoy if they knew it. It is great yeah, but I think I keep (right now, it might change later) Urania as my favorite, maybe because of the long duration of this one. Anyway, it deserves an easy 4-star rating.

Enjoy it!

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Posted Monday, June 6, 2016 | Review Permalink

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