Release DetailsLABEL DVS Records
RELEASED ON 3/21/2005
posted on 5/2005 By:
It seems that there may have been a slight mix up at the manufacturing plant. What appears to be a cross-pressing of Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory, Recreation Day, and BE has resulted in an ambitious progressive album called Shape. Okay, obviously that didn’t really happen but once you listen to this Italian quintet’s debut offering for DVS Records, you will find this theory to be a spot more believable. Clearly and shamelessly wearing their influences on their sleeve, Dynamic Lights are the missing link that connects Dream Theater, Evergrey, and Pain Of Salvation. Embracing the more moody side of the latter, Shape is brimming with atmospheric soundscapes that are diverse, distinctive and, well, dynamic.
When examining progressive music it is essential to dissect every last element, as each individual member plays such an enormous role in creating and completing an overall epic puzzle. Vocalist Matteo Infante is a near dead ringer for James LaBrie, but occasionally we hear him channel the overdramatic aura of Tom S. Englund or the steel pipe bark of Russell Allen. Infante’s melody lines are comparable to any of Dream Theater’s later releases where the vocals had improved.
With his phenomenal piano and keyboard passages, Giovanni Bedetti burns on the ivory, stepping into the spotlight more often than any of the other members. There is no doubt in my mind that he is capable of trading licks with Jordan Rudess if ever given the opportunity. The intimidation of battling such a huge talent may be the only obstacle he would have to overcome, but I am certain he would be up for the challenge. I could imagine that being a very fascinating contest.
Bassist Raffaele Mariotti is master of both traditional six-string and fretless instruments. Don’t anticipate monotonous root notes from his department. Mariotti makes use of every last inch of the board and really broadens the complexity of the music. Simone DelPivo is in complete control of his drum set and can make it do anything he feels fit. Setting the tempo for the rest of the band, he has a style of drumming that is reminiscent of Mike Portnoy and yes, even Neal Peart.
Last and sadly least is the guitar playing. While Marco Pederi has the theory end of things down pat, it looks as if the ideas get lost somewhere between his brain and his fingers. He has no problems executing the off time riffs, but when lead sections occur Marco seldom tests his limits. Most solos are slow, uninspiring and forgettable. To a certain degree I can understand that when stepping into the shoes of someone like John Petrucci, you’re bound to stumble, so conceivably he just wanted to spare that embarrassment. Pederi is the weak link in Dynamic Lights and because of his average performance, the musicianship score suffers where it would have otherwise been perfect.
As cliché as it may be, all but two of the eight compositions on Shape clock in between six and twelve minutes in length, with “One Thousand Nothing” and “In The Hands Of A Siren” being the most mammoth tracks on this disc. At just over two minutes a piece, “Density” is a mind-blowing piano improvisation by Bedetti, while “Connecting” features some of the only acoustic guitar work on the album and leads into the final song, “The Big Show”.
To be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary from Dynamic Lights, but after several spins of Shape, I am very impressed with what I am hearing and there is little to complain about. I know he has it in him and I am optimistic that Pederi will find the confidence he needs by the next album, and will deliver some scorching million notes per second leads. All fans of progressive music will love this album; plain and simple!
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