DGM - Hidden Place
Scarlet Records
Progressive Metal
10 songs (59'52)
Release year: 2003
DGM, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Marty
This album is my first real exposure to this Italian band. I remember reading Mike's review of their last album Dreamland and thinking that I might like this band. Somehow they slipped through the cracks due to the sheer volume of stuff I listen to these days. When I saw that we had the promo for their latest album Hidden Place, I jumped at the chance to review it. That way, it forces me to sit down and take a serious listen to a band and in this case, I'm certainly glad that I did!! This new album is the fourth release for the band and the first one for Scarlet Records.

Rarely does a band come along that seems to have everything in place as far as talent, production and the quality of their music. This album was a pure and genuine pleasure to listen to from start to finish. With most reviews, I only get a chance to listen to a CD a few times before writing a review. Sometimes that can be painful depending on the quality of the album. With this one, I found myself constantly putting it back into my CD player on my daily 41 km trip to work (one way). The sound of DGM can be described as a type of progressive rock/metal that has similarities to Dream Theater, Fates Warning and Symphony X as far as the heavier side of their music and Everon and Arena as far as the more melodic and classic progressive rock side. Lots of chunky guitar riffs are featured throughout with the occasional double bass flurry, which are not harsh enough to scare off those who are not fans of heavier progressive rock or power metal. Most of the songs have a good energetic pace with lots of instrumental interludes with a great dramatic sense and feature expressive lead guitar and some very tasteful keyboard fills. Power metal fans get a couple of brief forays into that realm on a few tracks but for the most part, they stick to the progressive style. Melody is something that this band seems to know lots about. Their lead vocalist is one of the best new (for me anyway) vocalists that I've heard. I absolutely love his voice, and with his range and power, sounds like a cross between James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Roy Khan (Kamelot) and Robin McAuley (McAuley/Schenker). His voice is pure and unforced and is the "glue" that seems to blend the band's somewhat chaotic style at times into a wonderful sense of coherency. The band seems to have a great catchiness and richness to their sound without the usual strong choruses or melodic hooks that usually are required to make a great song. For that reason alone, it does take more than one or two listens to fully appreciate this band. Piano and acoustic guitar are used for several intros to songs and provide a quiet and serene starting point that eventually build into heavy power ballad style tracks with great passionate and heart-wrenching vocals.

The one thing that kept running through my mind every time I listened to this album was the word "quality". This band has unleashed an album that is almost flawless in it's production and everything is crystal clear. It's not very often that a band comes out with seemingly very few weaknesses. Some of the guitar solos seem a bit "thrown together" to me but others soar in their melody and harmonic sense. The band seems to get lost a few times on unnecessary musical "tangents" that really show off the talent of the guitarist and keyboard player but actually weaken the impact of the song as a whole. Most prog band indulge in some "wankery" and this band is no exception. Those aspects as well as the real lack of catchy hooks or real stand-out chorus lines are the only real faults I can find with this band. Besides those minor issues, this is one band that I'm certainly going to watch out for in the future. Fans of great progressive metal as well as fans of just great melodic progressive rock who are very particular about "quality" in production, music and vocals should find lots to like about this band!!!

Killing Songs :
Save Me, Hidden Place, Storm # 351 and Blind!
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by DGM that we have reviewed:
DGM - The Passage reviewed by Joel and quoted 90 / 100
DGM - FrAme reviewed by Thomas and quoted 75 / 100
DGM - Different Shapes reviewed by Marty and quoted 88 / 100
DGM - Misplaced reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
DGM - Dreamland reviewed by Mike and quoted 83 / 100
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