Have you ever been doing something very trivial and boring, and suddenly something indescribably and infinitely beautiful appeared and left you speechless? Have you ever been walking, saw someone, fall in love with he/she at first sight, and then got petrified? Have you seen the dew sliding smoothly on a green, very green leaf, at four in the morning and have been mesmerized by its beauty in the deepest silence? Have you heard the new album of DGM, Momentum? I’m a lucky girl. I did.
DGM needs no introduction. This Italian progressive / power metal band has nearly 20 years of career, but does not preserve any members of the original line up. The current line up consists on guitarist Simone Mularoni, the outstanding voice of Mark Basile, bassist Andrea Arcangeli, keyboardist Emanuele Casali and drummer Fabio Costantino. Momentum is already the eighth album of the band. Using a particularly rich scenario, with well known and experienced band members and by the hand of the mighty Scarlet Records, the band explores the production and musical composition in a deeper way than usual, building diverse and immaculate structures, surrounding the listener with its magic. All instruments and voice make a fully formed and stunning whole, and I must say something that will make you want to run out and buy the album… The guests at this dance are certainly deluxe. The legendary Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob) and Mr. Jorn Viggo Lofstad (Pagan’s Mind) decorate with elegance and power this great celebration.
Personally, and I say this sincerely ashamed, I met the band for a little over a month ago, because I did a review of the album Universeasons by Solisia (Lady Obscure‘s review, of course) band in which bassist Andrea Arcangeli also makes his magic, and album which multifaceted Simone Mularoni recorded, mixed and mastered. I was pleasantly impressed with both, and I did some research on their careers, when DGM came to me. How the hell would I imagine that I’d been missing out such a gem? After giving myself a few severe whippings on the back for my inexcusable fail, I corrected my mistake and I caught up with their previous works, to be able to stand up proudly today before you and give you a complete and concise opinion about the work of the band and its evolution in this particular album.
No further ado, all aboard. Let’s begin this journey once for all …
Momentum opens the fires with Reason, here the master Russell Allen shines with his vast and savage voice. His voice fits perfectly in DGM’s style and sounds pleasant and confortable. A dynamic and powerful song, that makes you shiver and can get you out of your seat with its infectious and bright rhythm. The singers’ voices intertwine and flow with determination and dedication over a sea of melody and musical power that devours all your senses. Good thing I put on my seatbelt. Trust is almost like a sacred dance, technical and seductive, an immortal spell that sticks in your mind and ears like a fire arrow. Mr. Basile has a bright, powerful and colored timbre, which is more than pleasing to the ears and leaves a sweet eco in the taste buds of our brain. The guitar of Mularoni sounds strong, heavy and extremely authentic and direct, we are forced to admire his work with our mouths open, as it is very difficult to find a musician who deliberately submit pieces of his heart and soul into each one of the songs, not leaving blackouts or weak points. Mularoni has his own style, well marked and consistent beauty and power conveyed to every note of his guitar. Universe excites and prepares the heart for the great battle, the almost symphonic keyboards in the very touching intro transmitting courage and strength, and then leave us in the hands of the sharp riff, strong and powerful bass and innovative drum work. The song falls as hail and rain on us, spilling drops of that wonderful magic that power metal has, to become you a knight on horseback fighting with your sword for a crystal kingdom. The band lefts no guard down, and it is simply impossible to find weakness in their technique and interpretation. Mularoni mixed different techniques in Numb, a song played at cruising speed, in which the structure and dynamics show the more progressive side of the band. Powerful vocals with entertaining and varied drum work.
Perhaps because of my natural pessimism or perhaps because I had heard too much greatness till now, at this point I thought that this album had already shown its potential and really doesnt had too much more to offer, but luckily I was wrong, because Pages is a real earthquake, the kind of earthquake that split the asphalt, and believe me, where I live, we know about earthquakes. Electrical discharges every microsecond flowing from the fingers of the guitarist, some inspiring war cries wrapped into a catchy, compelling and mesmerizing rhythm. The solo is light, fluid, evokes raw feelings and the outro inevitably leaves you wanting more. Emotion, gentlemen, emotion is what music is about. And emotion is also what springs forth from Repay, a kind of semi-ballad DGM’s style, where wistful keyboards immerse us in a magical and pure atmosphere. Mark Basile’s voice shines in this track, showing all his technique, great range and authentic interpretation, the expected guitar solo in this type of compositions, sounds melancholic and explodes taking your heart in the blast, something in the style and tone carries the magic of an improvisation, could fall in love just listening to this song. Simply breathtaking
Chaos is another of the most awaited songs of this album, because of the guitar god Jorn Viggo Lofstad. I could not state whether this song has more of progressive or power, only that it is tremendously bright, rhythmic and melodic. Mr. Lofstad is a virtuoso, and makes its presence known with that peculiar style that has defined Pagan’s Mind over the years. Remembrance is pleasantly unexpected, it is impossible to make a preconceived idea of its structure as this changes constantly and without notice, arpeggios ala Dream Theater and a buzzing end comes also unexpectedly completing an unpredictable track, but intelligently well done. And if I had to choose only one song of this album, that would certainly Overhead, this is going to blow your mind, so the melody of the voice has a especially sweet color in this track, delirious guitar at full speed, and the solo (man! what a stunning solo!) it all makes this song a symphony totally irresistible. No matter if you’re the most badass and cold guy of the neighborhood, the excitement and adrenaline that this song transmits will completely take your heart, and make your chest swell, full of sighs of satisfaction and pride. Void starts with a clear progressive intro and slowly drift into varied melodies and large samples of the musical maturity of the band. Elegant and concise displays of mastery, that flows like a torrent of unstoppable power. Well, they say that the best is saved for last, and perhaps DGM wanted to apply that rule, I say “perhaps” because here it is very hard to define which song is better than another, but certainly Blame is one of the highest points in this album. Eager keyboards open the curtain to become the cradle of a sharpened and ruthless guitar. The bass sounds incredibly captivating and drums bring the weight that we metalheads need to breathe with a song. All songs on this album fit perfectly as parts of a large and wonderful puzzle.
A solid, exciting, beautiful and polished, but especially bright album. If you’re already a fan of DGM you’re going to be fully satisfied with this release. If you are a fan of Symphony X, Dream Theatre, Secret Sphere, and other related bands, well … you’ll be literally hopping on one foot by the joy. Momentum is an extraordinarily exciting and compelling album, which casts a deepening spell.DGM stands out (even more) as one of the most mature, productive and skillful progressive metal bands on the scene today. But you, dear reader, you must be careful, and even if it sounds impossible, try to breath between songs, because if you don’t, such beauty and power will explode your head like a grenade, and you will have to spend the whole night picking little pieces of your skull, still vibrating by the electrical discharges of Momentum. Speaks the voice of experience, and forewarned is forearmed…