Band: Dimension Act
Band Website: www.dimensionact.com
Label: ProgRock Records
Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com
Release Date: 2012
The Progressive Metal genre continues to expand with quality acts, one of the more recent being this quintet from Norway called Dimension Act. This is their first studio release and its entitled Manifestation of Progress. Having formed in 2009 the band is made up of Tom-Vidar Salangli (lead and backing vocals), Marius Nilsen (guitars, additional keyboards), Kristan Berg (keyboards), Tommy Granli (bass) and Frank Nordeng Røe (drums and percussion). This debut has been four years in the making and as far as melodic progressive metal is concerned it’s quite an accomplishment.
Manifestation of Progress consists of only four tracks although the CD closer clocks in at over 30-minutes, so you are not getting short-changed on the music side. In fact there’s a full 54-minutes here, enough to satisfy any fan of heavy prog. Everything starts off in grand fashion with “Cosmic Chaos” [5:10]; the bass and drums are off doing double time setting the foundation, but hold-on just a second, wrapped around the crunchy guitar are plenty of keyboards and when the vocals come in, in English I might add, they’re delivered aggressively but without histrionics. Like all the other pieces here, this song, even though it’s the shortest of the bunch still goes through a couple of time and tempo change-ups. Even more pronounced is that the band is not afraid to really pull everything back for just vocals and keyboards in the middle of a tune. Changing pace or turning the tempo around on-a-dime is no problem here. The epic tune “Drawing the Lines of Mortal Existence” [31:38] starts off more like heavy symphonic with some great hooks and musical motifs inserted as a change of pace; in fact this song more than the others really shows the band’s ability and it’s much more than just playing the heavy stuff. Four-minutes into this and the smooth guitar is playing a soft jazzy line which makes all the heavier parts stand out that much more dramatically.
I’ve often said the challenge with the Prog Metal genre as I see it, is how to sound different, given that loud, hard, crunchy guitars, rumbling bass and pounding drums played at super-fast speeds gets a bit samey after a while. Fortunately Dimension Act has not forgotten that the core of a song is its melody and there’s plenty of that inserted into the band’s compositions. I give them high-marks for this debut and look forward to watching their sound develop.