Produced by Simone Mularoni
After a three year wait DGM, the Italian progressive metallers, are back with a third album with the same line up, their ninth overall, albeit none of the line-up are original members anymore. The Passage is not much of a departure from the last album. It's still grounded in power metal with a touch of prog in the playing and time changes on some tracks, and there is a little bit more in the way of speed metal here, but not at the expense of melody.
They are blessed to have such an excellent singer in Marco Basile, who has plenty of power but is also clear and melodious. Most of the tracks are around the five-minute mark apart from the first couple which are the most progressive length wise. Those two tracks start the album off, with the first The Secret Part One being more metal and varied than The Secret Part 2, which is more straightforward. The keyboard/guitar solo section in ...Part 1 is particularly well done. Some of the riffs are also quite clever and even in those moments they are never too far away from a strong melody coming back in.
Much of the rest album is made up of classy sounding hard rock songs that, due to an excellent understanding of melody and that voice, could equally be enjoyed by fans of AOR music. Ghosts of Insanity has Tom Englund from Evergrey dueting on it, and the two voices complement each other really nicely. This is not the only cameo role on the album as they also have roped in Michael Romeo from Symphony X to play a scorching guitar solo on Dogma, making this the second album in a row to feature a member that band, as they had Russell Allen singing on the opening track of their previous one as well. The guitar work on the title track, especially the solo, is particularly impressive, and Daydreamer is a gives the album a little variation, in that it is quite a bit more funky than the rest. Then Disguise, a two-minute ballad with just piano and vocal in the middle of the album, breaks things up a touch from the speed and power. These tracks stop the album being too samey, which is something which regularly afflicts power metal albums by bands who aren't aware.
This is an album which fans of power metal, tuneful hard rock, as well as some prog and those who love a great singer, can enjoy. It's once again a solid effort.
“ never too far away from a strong melody ”
Tracklist: The Secret Part One / The Secret Part Two / Animal / Ghosts of Insanity / Fallen / The Passage / Disguise / Portrait / Daydreamer / Dogma / In Sorrow
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