Dig out your finest spacesuit as you rocket into space with The Blue Dawn – the third studio album from the Italian progressive metal band ODD DIMENSION.
A tale of two protagonists – space travellers Markus and Eloise – as they embark on a journey through space. They hit some trouble as they are attacked by an unknown population on their journey, which forces them to land on ‘The Blue Planet’. Here they must struggle to survive, whilst creating an army to help restore order!
This is the first studio album to come from ODD DIMENSION since 2013’s The Last Embrace To Humanity, meaning fans of the band have been eagerly awaiting a new record for quite some time. That wait is finally over. The record is the first with new singer Jan Manenti and includes guest appearances from former DREAM THEATRE keyboardist Derek Sherinian and LABYRINTH’s singer Robert Tiranti.
The opening track, Mission n°773, is an epic instrumental that comes straight from the score of an epic sci-fi movie! This jumps straight into the spacey synthesizer used in the second track Landing On Axtradel. A lengthy intro jam packed with said synthesizer and incomprehensible radio chatter – going all out with the sci-fi feel. Big drums and guitar solos aplenty before the lyrics come in. The track finishes in true ballad form complete with beautiful keys and fantastic vocal work.
The Invasion is the third track on the record that again includes a lengthy opener with similar radio chatter. The high point of this track is the vocal work. New singer Jan Manenti showcases his awesome vocal range!
On to Escape To Blue Planet, which slows the pace of the record. It almost feels like a new beginning, which is what the track is portraying. Then into Solar Wind, a second instrumental which is a beautiful piece of music. I couldn’t help but picture myself stood on a beach looking into the sea at the horizon.
Straight back into the action with Life Creators. A headbanging intro with a great guitar riff and drumbeat. This is a contender for my favourite track on the record as there is a further display of fantastic vocal work accompanied by some great breakdowns.
The title track, The Blue Dawn, is up next and it is a big one! Clocking in at just over 10 minutes, with surprisingly one of the shorter intros of the entire album. This track takes the listener on a journey on its own with it’s wonderfully crafted instrumental sections, juxtaposed with it’s headbanging classic rock and roll sections. This really is ODD DIMENSION’s mission statement.
Heading into the final third of the record, the anime sounding track Sands Of Yazukia has a brilliantly peaceful intro before it breaks out into a headbanging anthem. Whether intended, or not, the best part of this track for me, was the anime imagery that came with it!
The penultimate track, Flags Of Victory, features the vocal work of Labyrinth’s Roberto Tiranti. A similar sounding track to earlier features but the vocals of Tiranti provides a different feel to the track.
The final track, titled The Supreme Being, is a seven-minute long instrumental where the music begins in a darker and heavier fashion than earlier songs and continues in similar fashion throughout the track. I was expecting this record to end with a bigger finale and I was left quite disappointed with how the record finished.
I wanted to love this record and, based on the opening few tracks, I was convinced I would – however I quickly became fatigued. With many of the tracks being six minutes or longer, this is a long record! Although the ideology behind the album is quite unique, I felt as though the execution was, in places, rather lacklustre and I was growing weary of the tracks by the time they were nearing the end. I kept hoping for a big hitting ‘headline’ track, but it never came. After listening to ODD DIMENSION’s previous album, The Last Embrace To Humanity, The Blue Dawn feels like a sequel. I admire the continuity in the band’s sound and ability to tell a story. Nevertheless, there is some fantastic musicianship on display throughout.
Words: Jack Andrews
The Blue Dawn is out now.
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