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DGM - Tragic Separation

DGM
Tragic Separation
by Eric Poulin at 17 November 2020, 6:25 AM

DGM is a Progressive Power Metal based out of Rome, Italy and who have been around since 1996. This is their tenth and latest full-length album entitled “Tragic Separation” which was released through Frontiers Music on October 9th, 2020. I have been following this band for well over a decade and considering the high quality progressive power metal bands out there, this band has always stood above many of their counterparts in the quality of their compositions, production and most of all memorability. Let us dive in into this latest effort.

The opener “Flesh and Blood” has a very dark atmospheric intro that has multiple notes playing that are heavily increased in volume as the guitars really crank in for a maelstrom of melodic technical expertise. The song slows down afterwards with heavy-laden keyboards only to go right back into warp-speed. You can hear some SYMPHONY X in here, especially around the time the band recorded “Iconoclast”. The vocals are on point, as has been the case with all their releases and Mark Basile always has great control by combining emotion with some higher note crescendos. The more technical guitar parts are not only very progressive but show the versatility of Simone Mularoni, who can shred like the best of them and provide some great rhythm portions as well.

“Surrender” with pounding bass line and reverberating drums has a bit of a hard rock approach in how the rhythm guitars drive the song. It reminds me of the softer parts in PAGAN’S MIND if you were to cross that with late 1990s VAN HALEN. The track is filled with hooks and some memorable lyrics. It is not surprising that this became one of the album’s singles and music videos to promote the album.

If you enjoy your progressive groove and bends, look no further than the heavy juggernaut that is “Fate”, a song that oozes what made early 2000s progressive metal such a powerhouse. What is that you may ask? It is the careful combination of down-tuned guitars, vocal harmonies and beautifully orchestrated heartfelt choruses. While not relying on some of the heartbreak and solitude themes that are the backbone of the Swedish progressive metal band, there is a bit of an EVERGREY feel to the song.

The more modern metal side of “Hope” is quite the refreshing change of pace, with the band using more electronic elements in the background (you could compare this to the almighty dark progressive metal giants VOYAGER. Again, what makes the songs shine through and distinguish themselves are the highly emotional vocals and lyrics, that are such a strong contrast to the heaviness of the music. I enjoyed the dueling guitars and keyboards in the middle part of the song as well.

The title track “Tragic Separation” has some piano and violins, which I somehow expected even before hearing the song, solely based on the song title. Considering the tempo of the album to this point, it is a nice smooth break from the intensity. Does the song remain in this mood? Absolutely not, you get your dose of crushing guitar riffs and shrieks as you would expect in a 7+ plus minute epic. One thing differs here however, as there is a use of effects in the vocals (without going into any type of excess). The structure is a bit more simplistic and accessible, but the song serves its purpose. The final three songs (before the closing instrumental and this version also includes a slightly different orchestral/symphonic version of “Land of Sorrow”) follow essentially the same pattern of heavy metal, progressive metal and hard rock. The gritty “Stranded” has great energy and passion and should become a fan favorite with its power metal approach wrapped in drama.

The album possesses all the key components that have made DGM such an appreciated band in the progressive power metal realm, from the great musicianship to the crystal-clear production. My only gripe is that maybe some of the songs could have been truncated just a little bit, as they do tend to drag on a little near the end (most likely due to the repetition of choruses often in the closing stages of the song. But other than that, the album is pristine and every track has the ability to hook you in and keep you there for its duration.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Flesh and Blood
2. Surrender
3. Fate
4. Hope
5. Tragic Separation
6. Stranded
7. Land of Sorrow
8. Silence
9. Turn Back Time
10. Curtain
Lineup:
Fabio Constantino - Drums
Andrea Arcangeli - Bass
Simone Mularoni - Guitars
Emanuele Casali - Keyboards
Mark Basile - Vocals
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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