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Dimension X - Implications of a Genetic Defense CD (album) cover

IMPLICATIONS OF A GENETIC DEFENSE

Dimension X

 

Progressive Metal

3.97 | 7 ratings

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Lamkin91
4 stars Dimension X ? Implications of a Genetic Defence

Dimension X are a US based progressive metal outfit. Their music follows the traditional Prog-Metal framework set by bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X but Dimension X carry a slightly darker edge to their sound. That may not sound particularly revolutionary and, for the most part, it's not. But I think there are definitely some interesting moments in their 2007 album "Implications of a Genetic Defence" that make it a little more deserving than being cast into obscurity.

I was motivated to buy this album by, mainly, three things. Firstly: I'm a huge fan of guitarist Troy Stetina's excellent guitar tuition material (for any aspiring shredders out there; Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar is pretty darn indispensable). Secondly: I thought the main riff for the song Cordwood was pretty damn sweet. Lastly: I just LOVED the outro instrumental section for the opening track Serial. (The two aforementioned songs were featured on the band's Myspace page back in 2007). Even after owning the album, I still think the last 40 seconds of Serial are the highlight of the whole CD. Wrapped around sinister lyrics displaying the thoughts of a serial killer just before he sets out on his next rampage; it's a chugging, pump-up, menacing composition that perfectly establishes the tone for the album as well its dark concept story-line (something I'll go on about in detail later). I just love that section to bits.

The bulk of the album, like I said before, should be pretty familiar territory to fans of trad Prog-Metal. It uses the tried and tested formula of: "Write riff, chop and change its keys/time signatures/instruments to make a complex sounding instrumental section, keyboard solo followed by a guitar solo etc etc". Fortunately Dimension X pull it off with a lot of style. Stetina's riffs are dark, dirty and metal as fuck (some of the pinched harmonics he makes are just sickening; in a good way). Jeff Konkol's keyboards are chiming, atmospheric and very reminiscent of "artsy-mode" Kevin Moore. The production is also very sharp and professional overall.

'Implications...' is a sci-fi concept album that takes place in a future pseudo-utopia. Science has found a way to identify and eliminate a person's genetic anomalies and aggressive character traits at birth. However, this has the side-effect of providing a "Genetic Defence"-case in court for all actual criminals since; obviously, it couldn't have been their fault they wound up committing a crime with such measures in place. When Dr Bryce, a scientist who's work provided the basis for the Genetic Defence, has his family killed in a terrorist attack and the perpetrator is excused; he falls into madness and begins to doubt all his previous work. He decides to take it upon himself to track down every person his research has helped 'cure' and exacts bloody vigilantism. Wow. What a great movie or Tv show This plot could make huh? I'm imagining a sarcastic, Robocop style future filled with slimy lawyers, corrupt politicians, mad scientists and a 'Dexter' meets 'Minority Report' main plot about an everyday guy trying to keep up the fašade of a grieving family man while secretly going around murdering people who may or may not be closet criminals. The music alone doesn't just tell the story, it's also helped along by segments of incredibly cheesy voice acting woven into the recording which lie somewhere on the good side of gleefully camp. Someone should probably get on with making the movie because, so far, the only visual accompaniment to the story is the god-awful booklet art work which is honestly has to be some of the worst I've ever seen.

The music does have a cinematic feel to it: pounding bass tones to emulate racing heart-beats, complex poly-rhythmic drum beats to accompany a character's descent into raging insanity, chaotic thrash riffs to accompany someone slicing a dead body up with a chainsaw to hide evidence. It's pretty damn cool actually. There are also musical motifs and riffs that show their faces throughout the album; adding to the whole "movie soundtrack" feel.

However, despite my enthusiasm, this definitely won't be an album to everyone's tastes. Some may find the voice acting segments a little more cringy than I found them amusing. Some may find the comparisons to other American Prog Metal bands, who have basically done the same thing but better, a little too strong. Some may be put off by the singers unique vocal style (I remember hearing a distinct snort of laughter when I played Serial to a friend and the first line blared out of the speaker: the deep baritone of singer Dave Hoover II's complaining: "Pay attention to me!"). Maybe I'm just a sucker for high-concept sci-fi prog albums (which there just aren't enough of these days damnit!) but I'd honestly recommend this CD to any one even remotely interested. Shame the rest of it doesn't appear to be online anywhere.

Lamkin91 | 4/5 |

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