Odd Dimension – The Blue Dawn

The Blue Dawn Album Cover Art

Odd Dimension – The Blue Dawn
Scarlet Records
Release Date: 26/02/2021
Running Time: 61:00
Review by Simon Black
8.5/10

This Italian five-piece Progressive Metal outfit have been quiet for some time, with 2013’s ‘The Last Embrace To Humanity’ being the last we heard from them and, as always, the inevitable line-up fluctuations that plague most bands have been a significant part of that. With a stable line-up and the passage of time comes a more mature sound and a rich and complex release to emphasise that. This record is a Science Fiction concept piece about a couple of space travellers forging a new race in a musical take on the old Adam and Eve from space concept that has long been a staple of pulp paperback SF fiction.

As often when reviewing these records, having the time to unpick the minutia of the plot is a luxury this reviewer does not have, but needless to say it’s clear from the three spins I’ve given this record that this is a well-constructed and crafted story, with musical themes and flourishes woven into its tapestry. Musically this is somewhat impressive however, and that alone justifies taking it out for a spin. This is rich, mature and well-crafted Progressive tunage of the highest order, not particularly heavy in its sound and therefore likely to appeal to those who like their Prog to sound commercially accessible. Equally it avoids sounding Neo-Classical or Operatic, which let’s face it happens a lot on Italian acts in the genre, and has a more North American feel to it (think early Dream Theater or Fates Warning) with an undeniably radio-friendly vibe despite the technical proficiency on display. Also, unusually the vocals are very high and loud in the front of the mix, and given the power and timbre of new lungsman Jan Manenti’s excellent voice this is perhaps for the best.

As with the most successful Prog records, the musical brilliance is definitely there but it’s subtle and understated, so it doesn’t alienate less technically toned ears with overtly complex melodies, but allowing you to tune into the complexity if you choose. Working on two levels like that is really, really hard to achieve and to my ears, far more clever than an album full of overt fret-work and fragmented time changes ever can be. It’s really only on the title track itself when there is a bit more showiness on display, but then if you’ve managed to get erstwhile Dream Theater ivory-tickler Derek Sherinian as a guest, then be my guest, you deserve a moment of indulgence.

Overall this is an album that flows well, is easy on the ear, but with plenty of depth to dip your toes into should you wish and like all the best Prog, rewards the patient re-listener with more to appreciate despite being more than accessible enough on first listen. Thoroughly recommended.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Mission N°773
02. Landing On Axtradel
03. The Invasion
04. Escape To Blue Planet
05. Solar Wind
06. Life Creators
07. The Blue Dawn
08. Sands Of Yazukia
09. Flags Of Victory
10. The Supreme Being

LINE-UP:
Jan Manenti – Vocals
Gianmaria Saddi – Guitar
Gabriele Ciaccia – Keyboards
Gigi Andreone – Bass
Marco Lazzarini – Drums

LINKS:

Odd Dimension Promo Pic

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