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Dimension Act - 'Manifestation In Progress' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/77/51/c5/2543_dimensionactmanifestationofprogress_1343928874.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 02, 2012    
 
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An impressive debut that hints strongly at greater things to come.

The debut album from Norwegian progressive metal outfit Dimension Act is a record that has been frustrating me for quite a little while now. In places it is breathtakingly impressive, expanding the band’s prog metal scope with a more melodic, almost AOR sheen. However some moments are just a little too “by numbers” Dream Theater meets Evergrey, with a dash of the less aggressive side of Pagan’s Mind added for effect. In the end it all makes for an interesting album and one, as debuts go, which is still pretty damn memorable. So what causes my frustration? Well the fact that the whole album is the wrong way round! ‘Manifestation Of Progress’ has four songs, with the last, ‘Drawing The Lines Of Mortal Existence’, being a thirty minute epic split into six separate movements. Fusing in places, the aforementioned AOR like sheen with some more obvious prog metal flourishes, ‘DTLOME’ creates a piece of music impressive in scope and vision, whilst also being the most engaging song on the album. Unfortunately this excellent piece of work appears as the last of the four tracks, with the opening three songs ‘Cosmic Chaos’, ‘Industrial Evilution’ and ‘Uncharted Waters’ - nearly twenty five minutes of music - being well written and well performed - but very safe - progressive metal.

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There’s no denying that prog metal lovers will “ooh” and “ah” from the start. However Dimension Act can, and in fact do, offer so much more, but only on the second half of what up until that stage is a solid, unremarkable piece of work. If you make it beyond track three, suddenly Dimension Act become a band capable of drawing fans of separate genres together through their different attacks and approaches, with the wonderful soaring vocals courtesy of Tom-Vidar Salangli and guest singer Live Foyn Friis, combining superbly to captivate the imagination. However, due to the rigidity of the opening half of the album, there is a real danger that only true prog metal devotees will venture this far into ‘Manifestation Of Progress’, which would be a real shame.

Across the album the guitar work and keyboard interplay from Marius Nilsen and Kristian Berg respectively, as well as the pinpoint rhythm section display from drummer Frank Nordeng Røe and bassist Tommy Granli is faultless. With the quartet providing ever evolving themes which frantically blur past, while during ‘Drawing The Lines…’ they also demonstrate the poise and restraint to reign things in.

It would be unfair to call ‘Manifestation Of Progress’ a missed opportunity - it is merely a starting point for a band oozing with potential. However had Dimension Act taken the ethos they’ve created on this album’s crowning achievement and applied something similar to the rest of the tracks, we’d be talking possible prog metal album of the year. As it is, this is still an impressive debut that hints strongly at greater things to come.

Steven Reid

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