Review Summary: Everything that is great with progressive music....
If you have never heard of DGM then 1). They are a 5 piece Progressive metal band from Italy made up of some of the best musicians that the country has to offer 2). its not surprising as they are one of the most criminally overlooked bands around.
As a relative newbie to the progressive genre (Rush, Dream theater and early genesis) i was introduced to this band by a friend. But when i heard the first track off of this album it was like being slapped around the face. But instead of being left with a red mark i was left with nothing but a beaming smile on my face!
If by this point its not clear that i adore this album then it will be so shortly....
If this is the first DGM album you've heard then like me you probably thought DGM are a band that have a great fusion between Power and Progressive metal. If you've have been a fan for a while, however, then this album might be a bit of a curve ball.
It essentially revolves around the replacement of Titta Tani for Mark Basile. This change in front-man has had an apparent effect on the creative style of the band, not so much that they are beyond recognition but enough to make the whole band feel refreshed. This new vigor is apparent straight of the bat with two blistering songs to start the album 'Hereafter' and 'Enhancement' they are brilliant, fast paced numbers with a driving rhthym section that keep the tempo changing and allows the spectacular melodic guitar and keyboard to do their parts. Obviously it also introduces the aforementioned vocalist, it is here that you really get the flavor of the Power metal vibe that this band has got going on. Mark comes out all guns blazing with some astounding vocal acrobatics. These two song really set the scene for the first half of the album and are great to listen to over and over to pick out all of the amazing individual elements.
The next song on the album is 'Not in Need' this is a brilliant Progressive song, its so full of funk and bounce. The bass in this, especially in the verse sections is amazing and put a massive smile on face every time i listen to it. This song oozes fun and shows exactly how a good prog song should be done with a range of licks and flicks holding together some great individual rhythm sections.
Track 4 is More of a classic DGM song. Although it is very power metal driven with its heavy, melodic riff and massive chorus it remains unmistakably DGM with its great little Keyboard sections that runs throughout. this song also shows off another one of the great parts of this album and that is the guitar/synth solo off's that appear throughout. The song bats back and forth between the two instruments in some sort of an audible dogfight which appears to show the two musicians truly enjoying themselves through their music.
The next two songs come as a pair 'Trapped' & 'In a Movie'. 'Trapped is the obligatory instrumental section with one of the best riffs on the entire record, it then uses a great combination of atmospheric chior sounds and orchestra to build up to 'In a movie'. This song is another brilliant progressive song with each instrument (including the vocals) coming to the fore and then being over taken by the next in a brilliant way. This song also has a massive chorus with another great funky drum section that is great to listen out for.
'Away' is the 7th track on the record and its here that you can begin to notice the change in tempo on the album to a slower, more powerful sound. The riff in this song is wonderfully rhythmic and drives the song well. The solos are also more melodic and drawn out giving a more epic feel. The vocal performance on this track is also of note but it is here that we can notice my only gripe with the album. and that is the lyrics to the songs. The lyrics aren't bad or at least i don't think they are. The problem is that it is very hard to understand them, some entire lines of lyrics are completely lost on me and normally that would be a major issue but thankfully Mark carries more than emotion and feeling in his tone to make up for any lyrical shortfalls.
The next 2 tracks on the album are 'Heartache' and 'Rest in Peace' these song follows a similar feeling to 'Away' except that these songs are more led by the rhythm section. That's is not to say they sound the same, they sound brilliant in their own individual ways. But they carry that progressive sound and showcase the musicians well.
The second to last track on the album is 'Brand new blood' in classic Prog style this song breaks up the slowing tempo of the album and puts in a blistering 5 minute performance of big harmonics, blasting drum beats and great sing along choruses. The keyboard section is also a delight on this track almost dancing in the background of this, providing great atmospherics.
The album is then rounded off with an amazingly powerful balad called 'Fading and Falling'. Every album should be finished with a song this epic, every musical performance is turned up a notch and it displays the bands musical prowess brilliantly.
Overall this album, for me, encapsulates everything that is great about progressive music. It is simply 5 Amazingly talented musicians showing off together. this album has a bag full or tricks and is a joy to listen to over and over again. I've listened to this album countless times and i still pick out parts that i didn't hear the last time. Its not perfect but it is an absolute classic of the genre and an album that i would recommend to everyone.