Released: 2011, Scarlet Records
You have to admire the prolific output of metal music coming from Italy, and Alessandria, Italy’s Odd Dimension make the departure from Italian’s love of power metal, to full blown progressive metal. Signed to Scarlet Records, SYMMETRICAL is the band’s debut album. Citing some of the usual influences such as Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Fates Warning, and Spock’s Beard the band also lists the somewhat unusual Whitesnake and Led Zeppelin. The obvious omission of Dream Theater from that list is telling, and for good reason, because that is who Odd Dimension sound most like, even though they have deliberately tried to avoid that comparison.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, how does Odd Dimension stack up? Pretty impressively actually. SYMMETRICAL contains seven extended songs with consummate musicianship, particularly with the guitar work and drums. Vocally, Manuel Candiotto is quite good as well, and the keyboards are layered properly, without some of the mindless wanking that Jordan Rudess likes to employ. Weak link here would be the bass, which lacks punch but more often than not locks in with the drums instead of endless fills and runs, which is a pleasant departure. “Another Shore” is a cool heavy tune, but man the Dream Theater comparison here is simply unavoidable. The introduction to “Light Speed Journey” combines an initial AOR feel coupled with some Rush tendencies before a nice transition and melodic guitar soloing, making it the choice cut on the album.
While there is much to like, there is a bit of an identity issue and songs that seem to be complicated for the sake of being complicated. Odd Dimension is clearly aiming for the hardcore prog-metal fan. Even Dream Theater writes a conventional song from time to time though, and these guys probably will too, but not on this album. Classify this under great potential, but room for improvement in the songwriting department, because in this style of music, the chops are usually in place. Progressive metal fans should enjoy this, with the understanding that Dream Theater’s shadow looms long and dark over this one