There are quite a few "love it or hate it" genres within the realm of hard rock and heavy metal, but undoubtedly toward the top on the list is prog metal. Depending on your musical preference, the style is either a pretentious bloated dinosaur or a platform to showcase exceptional instrumental chops and difficult song structures. Norway's Circus Maximus certainly believe in the latter description, as evidenced by their 2007 sophomore full-length, Isolate. Sounding very much like Dream Theater -- especially singer Michael Eriksen, whose vocals contain more than a passing resemblance to James LaBrie -- Circus Maximus are a group of gentlemen who can undoubtedly play Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1 backward and forward (heck, one-time Helloween producer Tommy Hansen even produced Isolate). Songs such as the album-opening "A Darkened Mind," "Wither," and "From Childhood's Hour..." show that Circus Maximus fit comfortably between the likes of Iced Earth and Symphony X.
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