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Active Heed - Higher Dimensions CD (album) cover


Active Heed


Crossover Prog

3.73 | 27 ratings

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3 stars One year after the debut, Active Heed released "Higher Dimensions", and though the style is practically the same, I must say we can listen to some heavier hints here, longer songs, including one 9-minute epic. So it is a new chance to get involved with this project for those who did not dig their first album, and it is also a chance for those who did, to enjoy new music with a light vein. This album features 12 songs that make a total time of 65 minutes.

It is strange to hear the introduction of "The War of Tempos", because it has a heavier, metal-like sound that in the first album never appeared; however, the fury lasts only some seconds and later the vocals appear bringing that mellow sound which is nicely accompanied by the other instruments. Keyboards play a main role this time, since this first track we can appreciate their importance, which to my ears, was an improvement. "Far Escape" has a nice instrumental introduction that produces a symphonic sound, in a more classical prog style, I mean the roots of prog rock were well placed here, and though the music turns into a softer and catchier tune, it is worth mentioning the tendency is now proggier than their first album.

"A Little bit Expired" continues with the same direction, and I really like they decided to give keyboards more importance, they add a lot of nuances and textures which are healthy for the music. I like the inner changes of the song, though in moments I think they sound a bit forced. Here I must mention the guitar solo, which is very good, and something Active Heed had not offered before. "Gaps in Time" has a rhythm made to clap and go with the beat of the drums. That friendly and catchy sound they used to share returns here. "Multiple Replies" starts beautifully with keyboards, and after a one-minute introduction it changes, putting some heavy guitars that immediately contrast with the mellow voice of Per Fredrik Asly. This is a very nice track with cool arrangements, which talk about Umberto Pagnini's compositional skills. This is one of my favorite songs of the album. "The Numbers of God" brings back the metal-like sound of the introductory track, and though it does not harm the music, I honestly prefer the light and soft side of Active Heed.

"Crop Squares" might be catchy as well, but what I like of it is that inclusion of keyboard importance, it puts the nuances, it produces the textures, it makes the difference for a better song, because its changes and diverse atmospheres make the music change every time, and not to be lineal (which would make it boring). "A Pet Called Prime" is another nice song with some inner changes in mood and tempo, and with the resurgence of guitar solos. The sound might be a kind of neo prog. "No Speed Limit" starts with a scream and the music is heavy again, with inherent tension on it. This song might be one of the most challenging of the album, it is very well crafted no matter the different changes it brings, here I like a lot the bass sound, and the last part of the album is a great Halloween-like mood with something that sounds like a theremin.

"Kick-Ass Grammar" is a nice neo symphonic track that specially reminds me of some older bands. A nice mixture of symphonic rock, heavier moments and soft and delicate passages. Definitely the music of this second album is much more enjoyable and entertaining than the first one. "Ternary Level One" brings again that mellow and soft catchy sound, full of peace and even tender, and though of course the vocal range is guilty of giving that sensation, the music collaborates and matches with it. The last track of the album is "Not Left and Not Taken" which happens to be the longest one with almost ten minutes of music. I like the drums beginning and then how the other instruments join and start building up a structure. All the feelings and the styles of Active Heed during this album are gathered here, so one can enjoy the pastoral and soft sound provided by keyboards and vocals, while guitars and drums all of a sudden explode and produce a heavier tune. A nice way to finish this very good album.

Well, for me the improvement is obvious, Active Heed changed the direction, one can easily note the new style, though of course the essence prevails. So congrats to Umberto and his musicians for this step forward, which ears at least 3 stars and my recommendation.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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