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Odd Dimension - The Last Embrace to Humanity CD (album) cover


Odd Dimension

Progressive Metal

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4 stars If classic progressive metal in the vein of Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Vanden Plas is your preferred style of listening, you might have become acquainted with the Italians in Odd Dimension by their 2011 debut offering, Symmetrical - and if you haven't, they've returned in 2013 with an even better release. Entitled The Last Embrace to Humanity, Odd Dimension's sophomore observation is one of the strongest examples of melodic progressive metal that you're likely to hear this year, and while it isn't a boundary-breaker by any stretch, it's a professional product from all fronts with some irresistibly memorable compositions.

Whether it's the heavy riffs in "The Unknown King", melodic chorus in "It's So Late" (one of the most beautiful tunes I've heard this year!), or technical instrumental ending to "Fortune and Pain", everything about The Last Embrace to Humanity is likely to resonate with fans of progressive metal in some way or another. Odd Dimension may not shatter any expectations here, but the result is so tremendous that it's tough to complain. Highly recommended!

Report this review (#997560)
Posted Saturday, July 13, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars What is up with all the Dimensions? First, there were the X's - Racer X, Planet X, Symphony X. Now Odd Dimension, Fourth Dimension, SEVENTH Dimension?! To give credit to the "Odd", they have a pretty little ornate logo (the way that little d's a wrtitten) and a moniker - they call themselves the Odds for short.

Anyway, Odd Dimension play mid-tempo progressive power metal, or what I call Dreamtheater-lite, that is, Dreamtheater without the long solos, overt technicality or crazy time sigs, with Symphony X elements mixed during the more thrashy section. In fact, Odd Dimension could be called a textbook example of this style. Closest example that comes to mind are Germany's Dreamscape of their 5th season album.

Loud, full-bodied production? Check. Powerhouse vocals sung in an awkward foreign accent (reminding of fellow Italians Rhapsody)? Check. Many twists and turns during the longer songs ending not the way they began (Under my creed and Fortune and pain being the more impressive examples)? Check. A few cheesy mid-tempo hard rockers with multi-tracked instruments (piano-guitar, acoustic-electric)? Check.

Why is this talented band even more obscure than excellent, but relatively obscure prog metal bands such as Vanden Plas or Seventh Wonder? One answer is understandably the Italians' newness (two albums) and promotion issues. But another, I suspect, is their lack of originality and inferior songwriting compared to the giants. Don't take me wrong, this is a talented band and fans of DT, Symphony X or Blind Guardian should definitely take at least a spin. I wish that they were better known and promoted, including here on PA. But I just don't see how they could stand out in an overpopulated genre.

Report this review (#1003527)
Posted Monday, July 22, 2013 | Review Permalink
Second Life Syndrome
3 stars If I were into labeling bands according to their influences, Odd Dimension would certainly fall into the Dream Theater-clone realm. They really do sound quite a bit like them in some respects, but I find myself enjoying them all the same. I'm not sure what it is, but I'll try to explain.

First of all, Odd Dimension does tend to lean to the power metal side of things. This is nothing new, but I'm known to like a good power prog metal album here and there, of which a good example is the new album from Illusion Suite. "The Last Embrace to Humanity" has nothing on that album, but it is certainly enjoyable all the same. The band pulls off some stunning technical jams, but they do tend to keep a fair amount of melody present. The piano that is sometimes used is particularly pleasant. The crunching guitars have a healthy power to them that tends to create a harsh environment up against which the piano sounds even more delicate and sweeping. So, as far as instrumentation goes, this album has chops.

My main issue with this album is the vocals. If you know my preferences, you'll note that I really don't like the crooning style of James Labrie. In fact, I hate it. Odd Dimension doesn't have the high-pitch factor, but there is some awful crooning at times all the same. On top of that, the vocals melodies are just not there. This is the weakest part of the album, as some stunning vocal melodies would have really elevated the album overall.

Anyways, prog metal fans will love this album for its great metal characteristics, but I can't overtly recommend it to all prog fans mainly because of the vox issues. Other than that, this is a good album that could signal good things to come.

Report this review (#1008291)
Posted Monday, July 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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