Norway's Circus Maximus integrate the new millennium's first wave of progressive heavy metal. Formed in 2000, Circus Maximus consist of experienced musicians Michael Eriksen (vocals, guitar), Mats Haugen (guitar), Espen Storø (keyboards), Glen Cato Møllen (bass), and Truls Haugen (drums), and the group's 2005 debut album, The 1st Chapter, drew comparisons to Dream Theater and Symphony X for its melodic and song-oriented material. If anything, the band actually walked a tightrope between prog metal and power metal.
Lasse Finbråten replaced Storø on keyboards for the band's 2007 date, Isolate. The band's creative direction moved away from power metal and focused on writing more straightforward melodies. The band took to the road, garnering not only favorable reviews for the album, but for an intense live show as well.
After extending the tour to accommodate various festivals over the next year and a half, Circus Maximus followed it with a long break. They didn't resurface until 2012's Nine. While the supporting tour took them to the stage of Loud Park in Japan, where they shared the stage with Slayer, In Flames, and DragonForce, it was only the beginning of a long tour. The band played Asia, Europe, and the U.S. before they were finished, and opted for an long breather in the aftermath. In January 2016, Circus Maximus released the single "The Weight." It was followed in March by Havoc, their fourth album. Havoc in Oslo, a live recording, arrived in 2017. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia