Italy and Power Metal, it remains an eternal marriage. RHAPSODY (OF FIRE), ANCIENT BARDS, KALEDON, SECRET SPHERE, DERDIAN, LABYRINTH, VISION DIVINE, and many more. Joining this tip of the iceberg is 4TH DIMENSION. This band was formed back in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2011 that their debut album was released. “The White Path To Rebirth” was produced by Alessio Lucatti (VISION DIVINE, keyboards) and featured a guest vocals by Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY OF FIRE, VISION DIVINE, ANGRA), who’s been asked by numerous bands the past ten years. This release resulted in a spot on the “The Days Of Grays European Tour” in 2011, supporting SONATA ARCTICA, together with LABYRINTH.
Now, since March 2014, the follow-up album is out: “Dispelling The Veil Of Illusions”. Containing ten tracks, including an intro, I found a bit on the short side, when just looking at the total playtime of 40 minutes. In any case, the album begins with “Veil 3102”, an atmospheric, symphonic intro that starts softly and then unfolds itself into melodic Power Metal where keyboards lead the charge. The bombast accumulates, in vein of (old) NIGHTWISH, ANCIENT BARDS, etc… and links up directly with the power of “A Circle In The Ice”. Firm Power Metal is on offer, with clean vocals that are typical for this style. Melody is key, especially in the bridge and fast, catchy chorus. The band takes a step back around halfway, offers a sort of resting point by going into ballad-mode. Gradually they restore the power and round it off with the chorus. So far, a job well done.
“Kingdom Of Thyne Illusions” delivers a direct and melodic attack. Again the keyboards, sounding a bit game-like, lead the charge, while guitars and drums deliver power and rhythm. One problem here: distortion in the verses. I don’t know if it’s the keyboards that deliver this sound, but it hurts the song and listening experience. Definitely a black stain here. Like before, the bridge and chorus are of the melodic and catchy kind. The keyboards may lead the charge, they remain dominant throughout the song, also to fill certain holes. The solo part is set halfway, at which point the tempo drops again, before returning to maximum power. Aside from the distortion problem, this is one of the highlights on the album.
“Quantum Leap” is, in my opinion, even better. This one also offers direct melodic Power Metal, at high tempo. However, due to its sudden start, an intro would not have hurt, so the transition wouldn’t be as unforeseen. Keyboards are again the focal point, but now the guitar tends to follow a little instead of just supplying power and rhythm. The verses are spacey, atmospheric at first, then with added metallic power. This is firm stuff. The tempo goes up in the bridge and so into the chorus, which reminded me of a.o. SONATA ARCTICA. The second round of verses focuses more on the guitar input, but keys aren’t far away and stand ready for bombast and whirlwinds of sound. Halfway the song is the domain of the solos (guitar, keyboards), before returning to the chorus and ending of the song. Great stuff!
Another track that stood out is “ExtraWorld”. Its keyboards, sounding like from a Techno song or 8-bit game (yes, there are differences, but as Techno is not my musical terrain… 😉 ) are the start of it all. Drumrolls add a bit of tension and then all power is let loose. The 8-bit keyboard sounds return in the verses to add accents. Proper keyboard sounds make the connection between the different parts, and like before, the verses now also focus on the metallic side of the music. Full power and higher tempo kick in for the bridge and chorus. The keyboard break, with added drumrolls that give this part a jolly character, has a spacey feel. The second part is more atmospheric, paves the way for a return to form.
“White Logic” builds with bursts before taking off into midtempo, melodic Metal. Yep, keyboards remain the dominant factor (sorry for the repetition), and give the song a spacey touch in the atmospheric verses. After that, and you can already detect the pattern, the guitars come in. No uptempo music afterwards, although the bridge is heavier than before. The chorus, on the other hand, is slow and dramatic/emotional. This song is not as wild or powerful as before, rather more relaxed, easier to digest. There’s even room for an acoustic solo to break the stream of power. All in all, this is not a bad song, but it’s not as exciting as the previous ones. As music is a subjective element in life, someone else might think otherwise about this track.
“Memoirs Of The Abyss” is a ballad. First you get a Folky, atmospheric intro: acoustic instrumentation (including a flute) and orchestrations. The piano also plays a role later on. An ok song, but not that super. “The Watchtower” sets things right: guitars fading in before the whole takes off. High tempo drums and straight-forward Metal. The keyboards only arrive on the battlefield for the bridge and active chorus, where power and melody reign hand in hand, yet with an emotional edge. Very nice is also the atmospheric, esoteric instrumental part before the solo.
“Dissonant Hearts” is another melodic Power Metal track, this time with very accessible melodic, not to say poppy, verses. In the middle of the song, all music falls silent, save for the backing atmosphere and bass. Afterwrds, power is restored, including the fast chorus. Normally, one ballad suffices. 4TH DIMENSION apparently had reason to add a second one: “Away”. Three ingredients here: vocals, piano, and violins. The result: If you like ballads, then why not? This one here, however, is rather mediocre, in my humble opinion.
4TH DIMENSION, another new band to add to the list. I had never heard of them before, at least not sonically, though I had seen the name a few times on Internet. But I never checked ’em out, since there are so many bands out there, each wanting to be heard, and there’s only so much time you can devote to listening to music and/or searching for it all. In any case, “Dispelling The Veil Of Illusions” was a nice and entertaining musical experience. This band has the potential to take it further. If you like the tunes of bands like LABYRTINH, ANCIENT BARDS, (old) RHAPSODY, ANGRA, VANDROYA, KALEDON, ARWEN, and so on, then do give these Italians a chance and check out “Dispelling The Veil Of Illusions”.
- Veil 3102
- A Circle In The Ice
- Kingdom Of Thyne Illusions
- Quantum Leap
- White Logic
- Memoirs Of The Abyss
- The Watchtower
- Dissonant Hearts
Andrea Bicego – vocals
Michele Segafredo – guitar
Talete Fusaro – keyboards
Stefano Pinaroli- bass
Massimiliano Forte – drums