(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the latest release by Italy’s DGM, out now on the Scarlet Records label.)
Time for one of those “exception to the rule” thingies. Another 2013 catch-up.
I think it’s safe to say we collectively at NCS think power metal is not the uh… most desirable ear candy. While I’ve always felt the staple elements of the style were cool (particularly the neo-classical Stratovarius or Yngwie persuasions), it’s unfortunately a style of metal that seems to do everything within its power to pigeonhole itself. The bands are nearly indistinguishable except for a very few like Rhapsody of Fire, Dark Moor, and my personal favorite prog legends Symphony X. Mostly I think what draws me to these bands, particularly Symphony X, is the fact that they actually fulfill the power part of their genre tag. Symphony X, to reference them again, have everything great metal at its core needs. Russell Allen’s vocals have the impact of a fucking monsoon, the riffs and melodies are great, the songwriting is solid, and the music is consistently driving in nature; what metal should be, if it isn’t going for melancholy.
DMG are a fairly long-running band from Italy. I mainly know them because their guitarist Simone Mularoni is also the ax-wielder for another band I love dearly — Empyrios. My Symphony X focus is relevant, because DGM specialize in the same sort of driving, thrash-riff-intensive, virtuoso displays of instrumental skill that Symphony X are so often known for. That isn’t to say these guys sound like a clone of Symphony X at all, but the influence is quite obvious. Although, I will admit, current vocalist Mark Basile could seriously be a Russell Allen stunt double. Distinguishing the two is only possible if you really scrutinize the vocals. The opening track “Reason” features the Symphony X vocalist as well. People I’ve shared the song with mostly can’t tell the difference.