If you've been absent from the metal arena (or studio) for nearly seven years, maybe you should come back strong, let people know you're still alive. Maybe you could do it with a two CD set of progressive metal, with ten orginals and two covers clocking in at nearly an hour and a half. That might get somebody's attention. Well, that's what Colorado's (via Mexico) Dimension has done with their third album Revolution.
To tell the truth, you're best course of action is probably to listen to the two CDs on separate occasions. This progressive power metal trio gives you much to absorb. Either that, or they should have saved some of this material for a fourth CD, rather than making us wait seven years for another one. Or maybe with another seven years, and they'll give us a three CD package. Just kidding.
While long on inspiration and creativity (you would think after seven years), there's something about Revolution that warrants both interest and skepticism. First, there's nearly a feeling of melancholy to the music, something of dense heaviness, a darkness even, to the music, at times. Also, at the start, I never felt the album got off to a compelling start. Neither The Source or Pale Horse succeeded in keeping my attention, making me ready to move on. Yet, things significantly improve with The Waltz of Death and it's waltz music bookends and the more solemn, pressing, anthem of New Day. Then Tears and Blood divides your attention between the chord structure and drum wizardry, while vocals seem pushed to the background. It's interesting, but at the same time I could feel ambivalent about it as well. And I think that's where my frustration, my skepticism, comes from. I keep waiting for something to 'pop,' to find something that grabs me by the lapels and pulls me in. But doesn't seem to happen.
Then some better things come on the second CD. End of All Things has a strong juxtaposition of heaviness with novel instrumentation and simple melody to catch my attention. It's likely my favorite song. There's something similar within Angel, where that contrast between sharpness and lightness is even more deliberate. But the real prog intrigue comes with that softer part, midpoint and on between vocals and guitar.
Perhaps the song that explains everything about Dimension's monolithic return is the lengthy War Dream. In the Dream Theater tradition, though not sounding like them in the least, Dimension gives you a better than 19 minute epic, where they pull in all their previous tricks from the rest of the album. It doesn't so much keep you intrigued as pass by like a summer breeze. You feel it, you know it's there, but it's gone without notice.
It's not that Dimension lacks in talent or genuine creativity; they've got boatloads. Their musicianship is impressive, and so is their song composition. Again, honestly, something simply didn't connect with me, and you may feel otherwise. (As an aside, the two covers are rather interesting: Eleanor Rigby, though I'm not a huge Beatles fan, and Zep's Immigrant Song get an entertaining treatment, and David Quicho is a better vocalist than he knows.)
After a lengthy hiatus, Dimension returns with a bold statement, dropping a two CD set of progressive metal, with ten orginals and two covers, clocking in at nearly an hour and a half. There's much to absorb and I had some mixed feelings about the album.
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