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The Passage
November 2016
Released: 2016, Frontiers Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Manos X

DGM is an Italian band with its origins dating back in ‘94. Their somewhat unusual name stands the acronyms of founders "Diego Gianfranco Maurizio" in guitar, drums & keyboards but surprisingly none of these guys is a member since 2006! In the 20+ years of their existence DGM have certainly made an impact with 9 albums and 1 EP but for some weird reason never managed to be considered as one of the top names of the progressive genre they loyally serve. And that comes as a surprise since each member is an extremely skilled musician and I mean really skilled!

You’re searching for a band that you can put next to Dream Theater, Symphony X (also created in ‘94), Shadow Gallery, Fates Warning or even newer ones like Circus Maximus, Myrath, Vision Divine or Pain of Salvation? Well you can easily add DGM to the list if you haven’t done already. Technically speaking these guys can give a run for their money to any of the previously mentioned bands with ease. Superb musicianship mixed with virtuosity and flashy work on drums, guitars, bass & keys. Blazing solos, riffs combined with aggressive drumming with the keys being a pillar of melody.

As for vocals? Well Mark Basile (ex-Mind Key) is the perfect cross between Russell Allen (Symphony X) and Johnny Gioeli (from Axel Rudi Pell). This means that Mark has his roots in hard rock & 70s progressive but can also bring a healthy dose of ferociousness and grit to his voice. Musically “The Passage” sounds like the bastard child of Symphony X and Dream Theater and here’s a funny thing. While DGM don’t copy any of these bands their writing skills, feeling and aesthetic is really really close to the point someone could easily confuse them. The only distinction that I could identify is that DGM have incorporated a lot of hard rock moments like the did on “Disguise” But on others like “The Passage” (one of the album’s heaviest songs) or “Dogma” (with the awesome riff in its beginning) personally I had a rough time telling them apart from Symphony X’s latest 2 albums.

And this is where the problem lies at least for me. While the album is hard rocking/heavy and proggy the lack of individuality turned me off. DGM also falls on the same trap (or style if you prefer) as the majority of bands following this genre. While utilizing jaw dropping music skills, strong & clear production/mixing (but a bit too loud and compressed) they try to play a little bit of everything. Hard rock, metal, 70s progressive and maybe some thrash (check out the riffing) and while all of these look great on paper the outcome is a bit confusing and lacking in identity.

DGM aren’t newcomers and this means they aren’t searching to develop their style cause what they do they do exceptionally well so definitely this is one band who will certainly appeal to fans of the genre. But it’s unknown how many new people they can attract. Personally I got tired by the over the top songwriting and wished for something more focused. My advice check them out and decide for yourself.
Track Listing

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


Mark Basile Vocals
Simone Mularoni Guitars
Andrea Arcangeli Bass
Emanuele Casali Keyboards
Fabio Constantino Drums



Other reviews

» Hidden Place
by JP

» Different Shapes
by Mortuai

» Momentum
by Peter Atkinson

» The Passage
by Manos X

Next review: » DHC Meinhof - Way Of Death EP
Previous review: » DGM - Momentum

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