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A.C.T - Last Epic CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.07 | 269 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars WYHIWYG

Swedish band A.C.T. (the band refuse to reveal what the letters stand for) released this their third album in 2003. For the first time (for them), they created a full blown concept album, the over-riding theme being the story of a building and its occupants.

Taking their influences from the lighter, more pop orientated end of the prog spectrum, A.C.T. cite band such as Muse, Saga and Electric Light Orchestra among those who have inspired them. Indeed, those familiar with ELO's Time album can consider that release a reasonable indication of what to expect here. Both albums consist of high quality pop songs, which blend together to form something slightly more progressive when seen as a whole.

After a brief strings section Intro, we are immediately into Wailings from a building, a sort of ELO meets Styx song, the melody being the ELO part and the vocal style that of Styx. And so the pattern is set for the album. We have a succession of highly melodic, instantly accessible pop prog songs. There are further suggestions of 10CC without going over the top on the cleverness, of Queen in the killer hooks, and even of the pop side of Genesis. There is nothing particularly challenging here, it is very much a case of what you hear (first time) is what you get.

There is a satisfactory diversity to the musical styles adopted, ranging (on consecutive tracks as it happens) from pleasant pop ballad (Ted's ballad), through heavier guitar instrumental (Dance of Mr. Grumble) to the 10CC calypso style (Wake up). The most prog orientated track is the 6 minute Manipulator which segues into the surprisingly Dream Theater like instrumental A loaded situation.

In summary, an enjoyable if somewhat lightweight album. The band are clearly highly capable in terms of both composition and execution. It would be interesting to hear the results were they to really challenge themselves.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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