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DGM – The Passage Review

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: August 26th, 2016

Genre: Progressive Metal

Links: http://www.dgmsite.com/

 

Line Up:

Simone Mularoni – guitars, keyboards
Marco Basile – vocals
Andrea Arcangeli – bass
Fabio Costantino – drums
Emanuele Casali – keyboards

Special guests:
Tom Englund – vocals on ‘Ghosts of Insanity’
Michael Romeo ‘ lead guitar on ‘Dogma’

 

Tracklist:

1. The Secret Part 1
2. The Secret Part 2
3. Animal
4. Ghosts of Insanity
5. Fallen
6. The Passage
7. Disguise
8. Portrait
9. Daydreamer
10. Dogma
11. In Sorrow

 

I’m pretty new to DGM so going into this album I had minimal exposure to their music, and zero information about the band. After spinning their upcoming release The Passage, I took to Spotify to check out some additional music. Talk about an impressive body of work! I’m impressed enough to seek out and get my hands on their albums, but my music purchases don’t necessarily have anything to do with reviewing an album.

I was curious to learn a little about the band so I headed over to Wikipedia (deep research, I know) to see what it said there (with a grain of salt or two) and was frankly shocked to learn that there isn’t single remaining original member left in the band. Hmmm, not sure how to feel about that. The band is named after those three gentlemen (Diego Reali, Maurizio Pariotti, and Gianfranco Tassella…D.G.M.- which answered one of my burning questions.) The band has been around since 1994, so it stands to reason there would be some line-up changes, but no one left? There is still an M in the band in singer Mark Basile, but that is it. I say hmmm, again. I’m fine with that, but it got me thinking, “Would I be fine with it if I were a lifelong fan?” That’s a question I or Wikipedia isn’t capable of answering. Once my shock wore off I read a little about the band, and kept spinning The Passage.

Know what? The more I listen to their music, especially the new one, I realized, I don’t currently care that there are no original members in the band, and had I been a fan all along I doubt I would care because the music is so good. Drummer Fabio Costantino is the veteran of the band, having joined in 1999. 2003, 2006, and 2008 saw the rest of the current line up joining the DGM team. The Passage is the 4th release of this particular line-up and most certainly the best yet (8th release all total.) Truthfully, it’s the best of their whole catalog. The bands origins are as an instrumental power metal band, but have morphed into an incredibly melodic progressive metal band capable of delivering some fantastic guitar work from Simone Mularoni that is equal parts shred meets tasty AOR hooks. This aspect alone won me over immediately, followed closely by the stunning vocals of Basile. Of course, none of the band are slouches with the heavy drums of Costatino, the driving bass of Andrea Archangeli, and the subtle accents and lyrical accompaniment of Emanuele Casali on the keyboards. When you toss in the outstanding songs like “Ghost of Insanity,” “The Secret Parts 1 & 2,” and “Portrait” this is where DGM truly stands above the rest, with superb songwriting that utilizes the progressive style merely to keep the music interesting without getting to technical and chaotic and adding so much melodic power that the listener is instantly drawn in.

It still puzzles me how a band can maintain a name without maintaining any members that actually created the band, but that aside the music (the most important part of being a musician) is so amazing that no further thought need be given. If this is your first exposure to DGM then The Passage is one helluva introduction. I would highly suggest getting this one and seeking out the rest of their catalog, because what I have heard thus far has been pretty top notch. Yet another excellent release for 2016. As sad as the year has been due to the tragic loss of so many talented and influential people it has been a stellar year for new music. Perhaps that is the definition of balance.

 

Reviewer: Chris Martin

Rating: 9/10

 

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