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Seventh Dimension - Recognition CD (album) cover

RECOGNITION

Seventh Dimension

 

Progressive Metal

3.78 | 8 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Two years after their debut album, Seventh Dimension released their sophomore release containing another batch of almost 80 minutes of new material. By that time I've already seen the band perform live on six different occasions and have heard some of these compositions. I also got to hear a few more of these songs when I attended the album's release party where they performed 7 out of 10 tracks plus a great cover of Dream Theater's Under a Glass Moon. So I was able to recollect some of the material when I heard Recognition for the first time (no pun intended).

The first overall impression that I had of the album, after my first few spins, was that it was a serious and dark release. The album cover didn't convey the same dreamlike imagery like the one on Circle Of Life, which was also a major factor to this impression. Unlike other dark progressive metal albums, like Dream Theater's Train of Thought or Pain of Salvaton's In The Passing Light Of Day, Seventh Dimension didn't go all-in on the heaviness of their sound. What we've got instead was a more mature and ambitious approach to progressive metal without sacrificing the softer side of their sound in the process.

Deception is a solid opener that pretty much summarizes everything you, as a listener, will experience withing the next 80 minutes. I'm talking about the impressive instrumental arrangements, crushing percussion sounds and melodic harmonies provided by Nico Lauritsen and Luca Delle Fave. The transition between the album opener and Hand of Fate is probably one of my favorite moments on the entire album and the track continues in the same great fashion, featuring one of the best melodic compositions of the entire release. The bridge section in Hand of Fate is another highlight, which I wish that Seventh Dimension would implement more often in their songwriting. If I have to be critical, then the only real gripe is that the band is using a fade out right at the end, which I feel halts the performance halfway through the closing guitar solo. I've been fortunate enough to hear Hand of Fate performed live without the fade out and it's a rejuvenating experience to say the least!

Third Eye and The Raven continue in the same direction, as the first two compositions, but this time I feel like these tracks are stretched out a bit too much for my liking and I would have preferably shorten each of them by a minute or two. Paradolia starts off as a scaled down ballad but morphs smoothly into another great moment for the entire band. Reading Between the Lines is another longer track that spans almost 12 minutes but I really like how this composition is structured and the chorus gives a great payoff once you get to the 4-minute mark and continue onward. I also love how the composition slows down halfway through and gives us another build up until we get to the end of the journey.

Metanoia is another great instrumental number that where I especially enjoy the interplay between the guitar och keyboards that almost sound like they are battling each other. Calm Before the Storm is pretty much what the title implies, a transcendent intro to the final 20 minute stretch of the album. Within Two Minds starts as another scaled down moment but the tempo switches round the 3 minute mark as we enter another epic moment on this album. This track is as close as we get to the power metal aspirations that we've heard on Beyond Time from the debut album, which is not close at all although Nico Lauritsen really has to stretch out his register for some of these vocal lines.

The final track is another of the 10+ minute compositions that takes a long time to build itself up. Seventh Dimension did actually play Descending Memories the first time I saw them back in 2011, so this was one of the tracks that the band had a chance to really work on up until this release. Unfortunately, I feel like most of it's time feels like a transition without an actual payoff. It also features one of the weakest choruses that the band had ever written. It's a real pity that Descending Memories doesn't deliver the epic conclusion to this otherwise another strong album from Seventh Dimension. Still it's a great album packed with many ambitious efforts. It also shows that the band are able to deliver great songwriting without the need to encapsulate it within the frame of a 30+ minute composition, which might become a gimmick if it's used too often.

I would probably not recommend Recognition as an introduction to Seventh Dimension as I consider their ambitious debut album or even their magnum opus of a third offering The Corrupted Lullaby as a better introduction of what this band is capable of. Still, this is definitely an excellent addition for all fans of progressive metal that's well worth your time.

***** star songs: Hand of Fate (5:21) Reading Between the Lines (11:26)

**** star songs: Deception (7:03) Third Eye (7:39) The Raven (10:45) Paradolia (5:40) Metanoia (7:45) Calm Before the Storm (1:52) Within Two Minds (8:39)

*** star songs: Descending Memories (13:24)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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