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On disc: Imperial Circus

Above The Deep - Mike Thompson - 9 stars

Above The Deep

Above The Deep
(self-released - 2010)

Imperial Circus is an alternative metal quintet from Nottingham, UK who have recently released this, their debut album. Shunning the current trend to look back to the eighties for inspiration Imperial Circus have forged their own sound which is highly reminiscent of their major influences: Deftones, Tool, 36 Crazyfists etc, but with a good dose of nu-metal angst la Slipknot present too.
Now when my mates start waxing lyrical about the Deftones I usually switch off. I can't stand them so I was expecting to dislike this album. However, it seems that Imperial Circus have taken everything that I disliked about the Deftones and got rid of it, not least of which is Chino Moreno's voice. I think Circus frontman Leigh Dickens is far superior in every aspect with a pleasant clean voice and a growl that would put many death metal bands to shame and switches between each style with seemingly little effort.
The band is big on groove with a good, strong bass sound which is omni-present. From the slow, groovy intro to final track Choke this album had my head nodding and foot tapping. The band has a good control of atmosphere with every song perfectly executed to convey the emotions it is supposed to.
Normally this is the sort of music that I would avoid listening to. I'm not a fan of any of the bands influences and that would usually mean that I'm not going to like this band. The strange thing is that I do like this album! I wouldn't say its going to be a regular in the playlist, but to a bigger fan of this particular style I think this would become a favorite!

9 stars

Mike Thompson


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