DGM - FrAme
Scarlet Records
Progressive/Power Metal
11 songs ()
Release year: 2009
DGM, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Thomas

Ah, DGM. If there were any band making a name for themselves in 2007, it was these Italian warriors. Before Different Shapes was written and released, nearly every member of the line-up were replaced, which may be a contributing factor to why they were praised more or less everywhere and were seriously establishing themselves as a great act within the realm of progressive power metal. Now, two years later and after the departure of their long-time brilliant vocalist Titta Tani, DGM are once again out to spellbind the world with their enthralling melodies and enchanting spirit. Will they achieve the same magnificent result with their recent outing FrAme after yet another replacement, and with no original members left? Or have their creative abilities failed them if only just a little, and has the loss of their great frontman made a bigger impact than they thought?

Well, FrAme more or less starts where Different Shapes left us; in a lively and thrilling way, with the catchiness and melody we know them by. Mark Basile’s vocals are not all that different from Titta Tani’s and the pitfall his departure created is quickly covered up. The space-y keyboards are as pleasant as ever as opener Hereafter bursts out of the starting blocks. While it’s not as attention-grabbing as New Life, it certainly fools you into thinking this will be just as great if not better than their previous star. Yes you read right, I wrote 'fooled'. After the first three remarkable songs, with the jazz-colored Not in Need as a highlight, this fails to impress me as anything more than a slight step back. The star-struck melodies, downright awesome riffing and the otherworldly hooks and twists and turns are, while still visible, not at all casting that particular brilliant shining light upon you. The fun and joy in it is less valuable as this falls wickedly short. While by all means not a bad album at all, this accomplishes nothing more than to make me put Different Shapes on.

There are two answers to why this doesn’t succeed in developing the greatness of Different Shapes. Firstly, they’ve allowed themselves to dip into power metal territory way more than expected and not the least preferred. The songs are simpler, less energetic and hence less of an experience to listen to. Secondly and tightly connected to the first point, their ability to write great songs and melodies and their general creative mindset seems to have hit a brick wall somewhere along the path to fulfilling this album. For all we know that may have faded with the departure of Titta Tani, or my suspicion that they haven’t taken the time needed to make this a truly great follow-up. The lyrics sometimes seem nearly re-written into a shakier state, and the sparkling emotions seem to have faded slowly away.

Even though his may sound awful by now, I have to say that this does show signs of their earlier greatness. There are some incredible tracks here like the majestic Heartach with its Blood Stain Child-inspired intro, heart-warming melodies and all in all great vocal performance by newcomer Basile. These moments are sadly few and quite far between, as they only serve as reminders of how great this band once was, and that they hopefully will regain that greatness in the nearest future. FrAme is an album that, despite its obvious flaws, easily can be enjoyed by an attached fan, and the average power/prog head. However, if you’re looking for the improvement and the development I and many others expected, prepare to be somewhat disappointed. On the other hand there is a mighty fine place a short walk down memory lane called Different Shapes. I guess the bottom line is that this here is only the framework of the entirely different shape that once was.

Killing Songs :
Hereafter, Not in Need, Heartach
Thomas quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by DGM that we have reviewed:
DGM - The Passage reviewed by Joel and quoted 90 / 100
DGM - Different Shapes reviewed by Marty and quoted 88 / 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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