Just when you thought that the list of excellent 2017 progressive metal releases couldn't get any more crowded, along comes The Circus Of the Tattered and Torn, the sophomore album from Brazil's Daydream XI. A full blown concept album dealing with "a metaphor to express that we are drawn to each other more by our weaknesses and our flaws than our strengths and virtues. It's portrayed through a journey, where Phillip, the Circus master, takes his new apprentice, Circe, across the various acts of this Circus. Each song represents a feeling or aspect of human life, channeled by the storyline of each character." If all that sounds enticing, just wait until your ears get a load of the actual music.
Blending blazing progressive metal with a touch of hard rock, symphonic prog, and power metal, The Circus Of The Tattered And Torn is a non-stop feast for the senses that will blow your mind every step of the way. Vocalist/guitarist Tiago Masseti, guitarist Marcelp Pereira, and drummer Bruno Giordano have crafted a challenging effort here that has many nuances that all combine to stunning effect. "Open the Curtains" contain some wild guitar exchanges and intricate rhythms, while the heavy "Trust-Forged Knife" has riffs to die for and a real ambitious prog element flowing throughout. Speaking of prog, "Painted Smile" has plenty of it, as blazing guitar, bass, and keyboard lines dazzle around the arrangement with Masseti soaring to the heavens. "A Cup of Agony" just crushes, the guitar work massive and the drums acrobatic, while the gentler side of the band comes forth on the majestic "Overhauling Wounds", complete with gorgeous acoustic guitars, piano, and synths. The band then completely changes pace on the bluesy hard rock of "Collector of Souls", which mixes some gospel strains with a touch of Deep Purple as well as Dream Theater crunch. "Forgettable" again sees the band diving into melodic & symphonic prog-metal, and the album closes with the 15-minute title track, where acoustic guitars and synths collide with booming electric guitar riffs, scorching solos, and jackhammer drum passages. This is massive, epic stuff here folks, the complex sections giving way to gorgeous, pastoral segments seamlessly, passionate vocals dropping in and becoming more aggressive as the track unwinds and once again changes time signatures and levels of intensity. I can't stress enough how powerful these guitar riffs are...this is truly some incredibly executed and produced music here of the highest magnitude.
I probably could have ended this review with the statement above, but in summary, The Circus Of The Tattered And Torn is an easy contender for progressive metal album of 2017...and yes, it's on Sensory Records, a label that consistently releases some of the best genre fare out there. Think Dream Theater or Symphony X at their most epic and powerful, and that's the level of greatness you'll find here. Outstanding!
1. Ticket 000011 01:41
2. Open The Curtains 03:20
3. Trust-Forged Knife 05:02
4. Painted Smile 06:48
5. Windblown 02:37
6. A Cup Of Agony 05:57
7. Overhauling Wounds 10:40
8. Collector Of Souls 06:24
9. Forgettable 09:28
10. The Love That Never Was 04:13
11. The Circus Of The Tattered And Torn 15:28