DGM - Different Shapes
Scarlet Records
Melodic Progressive Metal
10 songs (52'48)
Release year: 2007
DGM, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Marty
It seems like the "real" DGM has shown up to play this time. With their last album Misplaced, DGM seemed to all but abandon their rich progressive style in favor of a more straight up and melodically focussed power metal album. It was met with mixed results. With their new album Different Shapes, we see yet more line-up changes for this Italian band including new guitarist Simone Mularoni and new keyboardist Emanuele Casali. With the new members also comes a new "rebirth" so to speak that sees this band digressing a little back to the great prog metal sounds of earlier albums like Dreamland and Hidden Place yet infusing some of the melodic sense of their last album Misplaced. The results are simply spectacular with the grandiose progressive style of DGM finally including the type of catchy vocal melodies and melodic hooks that were missing from earlier efforts.

Some of the speedier power metal elements of Misplaced are still evident but with Different Shapes, we see the return of the neo-classical edge as well as the expansive arrangements and a very pronounced keyboard presence. Their music is very dynamic and exciting and would definitely appeal to fans of Kamelot, Symphony X as well as early Images and Words/Awake era Dream Theater. Strong vocal melodies and choruses grace many tracks with songs like the album opener New Life being a prime example of the evolution of this band. The syncopation between the guitars and the keyboards is something that really puts this band way above many others in this genre; adding lots of colorful fills to the overall song arrangements. Along with the rich melodic sense, many tracks still feature that Symphony X crunch from guitarist Simone Mularoni. Mix in a little Yngwie, some John Petrucci and blend in a little George Lynch and you have an idea of the preciseness and technical prowess of this new guitar monster. A little technical flash is thrown in once in a while but it is not overdone by any sense. Tracks like Unkept Promises see DGM in their arena and ready to take on all comers. With rich textured arrangements, lots of dynamics and an overall killer prog metal sound, this one's just about as perfect a snapshot of what prog metal should sound like. A little throwback to the 80's style of power ballad is seen with The Fallen Angel. Amazing vocal melodies, huge soaring choruses and lead guitar with just a touch of "cheese" is the recipe for this little gem. Vocalist Titta Tani has more than a passing resemblance to 90's James LaBrie on this one. On other tracks, his voice not only sounds like James LaBrie but also has similarities to Angra's Edu Falaschi. The Angra styled Close To You really brings out the Edu qualities in his voice. Frontiers sees more of a traditional progressive metal arrangement and the closing track A Man I Will Never Be is classic 90's era Dream Theater in it's sound and style. The only real misstep with this album is with the harsh vocals and guttural growls on the track Peace Of Mind. It opens with some great Megadeth styled stuttering riffs and overall musically, is a solid track but the harsh vocals mixed in with Titta Tani's normal richly melodic voice just doesn't work.

Overall, this is an album with very few weak points. Every track is solid and the sound of this band is HUGE! The production is strong, powerful and definitely state of the art. This is easily the best album that this band has ever done and as I mentioned earlier, fans of Kamelot, Dream Theater and Symphony X will definitely find lots to like here. In fact, this album is better than the latest releases by those aforementioned bands. Different Shapes will no doubt bring a huge smile to the face of fans of classic progressive metal with great melody, tons of guitar work, outstanding keyboard work and a very dynamic, expansive overall sound.....it certainly did to me!

Killing Songs :
New Life, Unkept Promises, The Fallen Angel, Signs Of Time and A Man I Will Never Be
Marty quoted 88 / 100
Chris quoted 90 / 100
Goat quoted 85 / 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 - Misplaced reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
DGM - Hidden Place reviewed by Marty and quoted 82 / 100
DGM - Dreamland reviewed by Mike and quoted 83 / 100
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