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Dogma - Album CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.44 | 23 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Elegant and well crafted instrumental neo-prog from Brazil. Following a similar path to that of their fellow countrymen of Tempus Fugit, albeit with a less degree of bombast, Dogma really did a beautiful job in their debut album. Quite a laconic album for their first release. "Album", isn't it? Besides Tempus Fugit, other references regarding Dogma's prog style are 80s Camel, Craft and The Enid, as well as the Genesis-based melodic sensibility that is so common in modern symphonic prog. In fact, the labors of keyboardsman Renato Coutinho and guitarist Fernando Campos are somewhat influenced by Banks and Hackett, respectively. Sagrado Coracao violinist Marcus Viana guests on track 2, providing an effective complementation to some guitar leads and accompanying the keyboard layers in order to enhance the symphonic nature of the main motif. The gentle tone and the melodic delicateness are the two leit-motifs that sustain Dogma's musical ideology: the opening track 'Beginnings' has a pleasant air of simplicity about it, while the following three are a bit more sophisticated, particularly 'Night Winds' and 'Seven Angels in Hell', which comprise some interesting ambience and tempo variations, although the band seems focused on keeping things not too pompous, as if they were specially concerned about the motifs and the orchestrations rather than the exhibition of technical skill. Anyway, it is obvious in tracks 3-4 that Campos' keyboards assume a clear starring role in the overall instrumentation. Things get softer in 'Movements', almost melancholy, for the most part of it, until the last section introduces a more exulting tempo. The 22 minute suite that closes down "Album" is located in such a strategic place: after a catalogue of pieces that had an implicit colorfulness that never got to burst out as in a Catherine wheel, 'A Season for Unions' finds Dogma getting more overtly symphonic than on any other track in this recording. That was a real requisite, since the epic structure of this number demanded a more orchestral attitude from the band. The surprising fact is that the band's melodic side is explored without getting too bombastic, really - actually, 'A Season for Unions' is, generally speaking, even less pompous than most of the previous tracks. This suite is more based on evocation and candor than on bombast. All in all, Dogma's "Album" is not precisely superb genius, but it certainly is a pretty interesting opus, full of attractive musical ideas which are well ordained and never get too redundant nor trivial - 3 to 3 stars for this one.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |


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