Prog - - Limelight - CHRIS MCGAREL

Achar­ity show in aid of the Heavy Metal Tru­ants, tonight’s bill promises to raise money for good causes, and also to raise aware­ness of two young Bri­tish bands op­er­at­ing at the heav­ier end of the prog spec­trum.

Ta­coma nar­rows Bridge Dis­as­ter have un­der­gone two per­son­nel changes since 2015’s ex­cel­lent Wires/Dream\Wires al­bum. Gui­tarist/vo­cal­ist Drew ver­non and bassist Tom Gran­ica have re­cruited drum­mer Ben Wilsker and also sec­ond gui­tar player Andrea Longo.

The ele­giac clos­ing track on that al­bum may mark this tran­si­tion, but is not a wholly suc­cess­ful set opener. Pass­ing probes the air hes­i­tantly, ooz­ing at­mos­phere with ver­non’s dis­em­bod­ied vo­cal and clean gui­tar mo­tif. But it’s not un­til the in­stru­men­tals Murasame and oko that the cli­mate changes and the band fully hit their stride.

With ob­vi­ous in­flu­ences from Tool and Pel­i­can, their dy­namic post-rock be­gins to surge. Themes ebb from ini­tial ca­pit­u­la­tion into am­bi­ent ghosts and re­turn as sonic tsunami. This is mes­meric, deftly-crafted mu­sic on a par with Rus­sian Cir­cles.

Two brand new tracks close the set; one is an­other vo­cal song with guess­the-time-sig­na­ture com­plex­ity. They whet the ap­petite for the next re­lease from this ex­cit­ing Lon­don out­fit.

Deadly Cir­cus Fire are also show­ing off a new line-up. Found­ing vo­cal­ist Adam Grant left in 2016. His di­ver­sity and range was never go­ing to be easy to re­place, so it’s all eyes and ears on new boy David Pear.

With only a month of re­hearsals un­der his belt, this could prove a Her­culean task. Ap­pro­pri­ately, astride the stage mon­i­tors with flow­ing blond hair, Pear looks like he has stepped from the pages of Ro­man leg­end.

Le­viathan, from the 2013 de­but The king And The Bishop, puts him through his paces, al­ter­nat­ing be­tween clean bari­tone and gruff metal. Deadly Cir­cus Fire are clearly in debt to Tool, but re­brand it as a more mer­cu­rial, lithe beast, as ev­i­denced by the gym­nas­tic shapes be­ing thrown by bassist Mike enort and gui­tarist Save Ad­dario.

Rise Again and House of Plagues com­bine east­ern modes and fist­pump­ing, pum­melling heav­i­ness, while new song Shinigami Fall is the equal of these fan favourites. This is very strong ma­te­rial, and pas­sion­ately per­formed, but there is one prob­lem.

The sub­tlety and in­tri­cacy of the record­ings are lost in the room.

This is an ac­com­plished band, with song­writ­ing-savvy ma­tu­rity well be­yond their two-al­bum ca­reer. vic­tims of their own vi­sion, they need to con­vey those in­tri­ca­cies that they cap­ture so well in the stu­dio in a live set­ting. Let’s hope their con­tin­ued rise al­lows that to hap­pen soon.

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