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Dimension Act - Manifestation of Progress CD (album) cover


Dimension Act

Progressive Metal

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5 stars I just want to start out by saying that this is my first review and that the main reason I finally wrote a review is that I feel this album was very unfairly reviewed in a very negative way. This album deserves far more credit than it was given. The compositions are well thought out with interesting rhythm patterns and layering, the instrumentals are fantastic, and they even use some good choral arrangements. The final track, clocking in at 31 minutes and 39 seconds, deserves high praise in and of itself. Not a single syllable is uttered by a singer until after the 8 minute mark, and those 8 minutes are some great instrumentals. After my first listen, I immediately pressed the back button to listen again. This is an excellent addition to the Progressive Metal sub-genre, and would be a welcome addition in the collection of anyone who enjoys other Progressive Metal bands like Dream Theater, Rush, Circus Maximus, Symphony X, Seventh Wonder, and Andromeda.
Report this review (#662552)
Posted Saturday, March 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars From a Promo Copy.

When I heard about a new prog metal band from the Northern Pole countries ..-well i realize ...this should be a good band with a good work like others of that Andromeda ...for ex....and expected a very important addition to prog rock...but..

This is quite good prog metal....but is this an addition to prog rock..?. haven t we heard similar works (much better) from Symphony X or Dream Theater or Andromeda.? or..other good bands from northern Europe.?...yes....of course we have

And for the worse...vocals and sound engineering is quite bad.

So ..yes this is their first work...but if they want to be distinguishes as something really new ,something addition to rock music...there is a lot to work and improve...

If they stay in the future in this same line of prog metal...uhh......a short story for them i suppose.

2stars for me

Report this review (#667747)
Posted Monday, March 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Norwegian band DIMENSION ACT was formed back in 2008 by multi-instrumentalist Morten Nilsen and vocalist Tom Vidar Salangli, who form the nucleus of this now five-man strong ensemble. "Manifestation of Progress" is their debut album, and was released by Progrock Records in the spring of 2012.

If you like your progressive metal to be dramatic, grandiose and pompous in nature, Dimension Act is a band you probably should check out. Massive arrangements with keyboards and guitars contrasting and complementing each other in richly layered arrangements are the deal here, with some atmospheric inserts and quite a few pacier ones closer to power metal in expression, with a powerful lead vocalist to cater for the lyrical department in a suitable manner. A well made production that probably will find favor amongst quite a few Ayreon fans.

Report this review (#733164)
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Manifestation of Progress' - Dimension Act (7/10)

For better and worse, the traditional sound of progressive metal is still alive and well. DIMENSION ACT is another recent adherent to the synth-laden, time signature-hopping style fist pioneered (and soon mastered) by acts like Dream Theater two decades ago. Although this style has been failing to hold up the 'progressive' end of the bargain for quite some time now, it has not stopped bands from making some really engaging music with the formula. Of these 'Dream Theater clones', perhaps only the UK's HAKEN have ever managed to churn out a true classic in recent years, and while DIMENSION ACT's debut does not inspire that 'wow' feeling that I look for in progressive metal, their tried-and-true approach to the genre succeeds at what it sets out to do.

I could possibly write for hours about whether or not this 'let's be prog without being progressive' trend in progressive rock and metal is a good or a bad thing, but to simplify, I'll say that if a band is going to follow a prescribed formula, their only chance to reach the golden tier is if they're able to do it better than damned near everyone else. To this effect, DIMENSION ACT are less than successful, although their performing prowess is evident from the start. Throughout the album, the band plays a technically skilled, yet melodic blend of prog metal complexity and power metal flair. Keyboardist Kristian Berg and guitarist Marius Nilsen in particular each stand out for their contributions. The typically fast-paced sound is built around classically-styled melodies, and- as per DREAM THEATER canon- much of the instrumentation contends with a back-and-forth play between the keys and guitars.

DIMENSION ACT do this rather well, and though progressive metal has a tendency to take virtuosic musicianship for granted, the musicianship of the band never ceases to impress. If there is anything that keeps DIMENSION ACT from taking their music into the bowels of glory, it is the songwriting, particular in the first three 'shorter' tracks. Although the ideas are always solid on their own, it feels like DIMENSION ACT falls into a formula-within-a-formula, that is; using a small handful of musical ideas and modifying them slightly o make other songs with them. The opener 'Cosmic Chaos' has a powerful introduction, instantly making their adherence to DREAM THEATER clearly known, but demonstrating an intensity that had me excited from the start. However, by the second track, its intro sounded so similar to that of the first that I almost felt that the first song simply repeated. Thankfully, this sense of deja- vu is broken with their 'Perspectives' epic, but utterly formulaic songwriting makes the first half of the album very difficult to distinguish on a song-to-song basis.

Although seasoned proggers may find themselves anaesthetized to the novelty of a half- hour epic, there is a certain prerequisite of skill involved in pulling it off, and as cliche as the monster 'Perspectives' is, it impresses greatly for its wealth of different musical ideas and dramatic ebb-and-flow. Compared to the signature epics of progressive metal, it lacks the 'full circle' element that would have made it sound like a complete composition, rather than a quasi-rhapsody of prog-power metal episodes. It may pale in comparison to 'A Change of Seasons' or 'No Exit', but the level of skill and consistent power of the musical passages in the epic lifts DIMENSION ACT's debut out of a purely run-of-the-mill status.

DIMENSION ACT is a little too derivative, but they are impressive, perhaps moreso than most of their like-sounding contemporaries. The talent and energy is certainly here, and hopefully- like their fellow Norwegians in LEPROUS- they will eventually depart from the typical prog metal sound in favour for something a little more unique. Until then, 'Manifestation of Progress' is a fine prog-power album in need of an identity.

Report this review (#733191)
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars A new progressive metal band named Dimension Act from Norway with Manifestation of progress released this year at Progrock records might give to some listners a very positive feedback, but to me after more then 3 listnings I've said to myself eh another one of those bands that tries to make a name in the overpopulated prog metal scene. The album and sound overall is not bad, only 4 pieces are here, the last one clocking around half an hour is definetly the best piece band has to offer, the rest are ok but far from being of a real intrest. For ex the Uncharted Waters - a very nice title name for a piece but the music fail to impress me, I mean I've heared this kind of aproach progressive/power metal I guess few hundred times in past year or so. If were not the last piece, the epic Drawing the Lines of Mortal Existence, definetly this album was almost mediocre at best. But this tune save the album, here we find some spectacular intense musicianship, specially on first 5 min intro of the track, really impressive, and the music goes alternating more mellow parts with more up tempo all arrangements being towards progressive metal this time more then on the rest 3 pieces. Very nice breaks, guitar sounds very complex in some parts and aswell some fine keyboards. The voice I found to be ok most of the time nothing is special in his tone of voice anyway. In the end a fairly good album, no groundbreaking moments for sure or original passages though. 3 stars is the best I can give, fans of lets say Communic or in places Dream Theater might check this band.
Report this review (#754670)
Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 | Review Permalink

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