Dimension - Universal Mind

Year of Release: 2002
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:24:00

With the plethora of progressive, power, and traditional metal bands coming on the scene, joining the plethora that have already arrived, the last thing we really need is another one, especially if that band doesn't really have anything new to say in the genre. Well, okay, maybe we do still need to bring fresh ideas into the mix. But anyway, I don't necessarily mean bringing the music to some unique and heretofore unimagined place ? they can't all be Pain Of Salvation, for example (and I'm sure some will quibble with me on that statement). And let's face it, even some of those that are terrific musicians often don't bring anything really knew into the mix, though they may make it sound fresh and exciting.

Enter into the fray, Dimension, a progressive metal band from Mexico (though currently residing in Denver, Colorado). Well, Universal gets off to a promising start, and if this were an instrumental CD, it'd get good marks (the drumming from Mane Cabrales is really good, and the bass from Aaron Del Palacio is quite good). It isn't however. Now, that doesn't mean that vocalist David Quicho is bad singer, but his vocals are often so hidden in the mix that the instrumentation is what hits you first and stays with you. It also doesn't mean that Quicho is a great singer that can't be heard. I'm not particularly fond of the way he sings; it's a little strained at times. And they seem filtered as well, which leaves him sounding rather cold. I'd say, um? as a singer, he's a better guitarist.

Being the kind of listener who pays attention to lyrics (even though I don't always mention them), I'm rather disappointed with the way these are constructed. That may seem like an unfair statement, a slight against them for not being (presumably) native speakers/writers of English. And yes, if I were to write lyrics in Spanish, they'd probably be pretty laughable. But that isn't it, it's not that they are funny; I just don't feel that the concepts they are trying to get across do. In fact, I'm having a devil of a time trying to parse it out in some general, broad statement. Paranoid visions of government mind control seems to play a part in it. One other note on the lyrics, they are printed in both English and Spanish, which brings up another issue with me. They are awfully hard to read against part of the printed background (though the illustration here is quite nice, if sparse.)

For all the metal fury being unleashed, there is an overall feeling of ho-hum, at least to me. The famous phrase "of sound and fury, signifying nothing" comes to mind (from Shakespeare's Macbeth). Perhaps that a little harsh, but after having listened to the CD a few times, at the end about all recalled was that it was a churning metal album. I'd say, given the track "Forbidden Game," they've been listening to Pain Of Salvation, and trying to bring in a diverse set of textures to their music. And I suppose instrumentally, this is one of the more interesting tracks. Quicho as a guitarist is fairly good, and he does give a nice, if a little cold, solo here. The track begins with a squelchy, odd rhythm which doesn't reappear. Actually, at the beginning, I thought of a metallic INXS (think the speak-sing song "Mediate") and then later, as it gets into a screamy section, I thought of Korn? this latter comment is not meant to be a good thing.

"Universal Mind" opens with a nice keyboard intro, but there is a metallic, hollow tone as well that seems too high in the mix and spoils things? and from that point on, it seems clumsy, choppy. Parts of the track, a 13-minute plus opus, do work well ? especially at the 8-minute mark where Quicho plays a nice guitar solo over soft keyboards from Eddie Del Palacio. This is overall one of the better tracks on the CD. "Fearland" starts with a lot of crisp, taut aggression. This track would be the star track if Quicho's vocal performance were a little stronger?which for a brief passage here and there it is, when he roughs it up, and gets a little aggression in his tone. Not one for the growly vocals, here I'd have liked to hear a little more of his snarl. He does treat us to nice Latin flavoured guitar solo, which is good.

Dimension have a lot of ideas but don't really execute them well ? as I said, the drumming is the strongest element here. The album has an overall okay sheen, and some nice performances here and there, but those instrumental passages are, for my taste, too few and far between. At the end of the day, it doesn't quite muster much excitement in me.

As a side note, the band got its start in 1990 as Perturbador, releasing two demos and an album called Secretos Del Tiempo between then and 1997. A name change and a switch to English lyrics ensued in 1998. [They have also since relocated the Colorado]

Strategy (9:09) / Sailor (4:22) / Forbidden Game (4:55) / Universal Mind (13:25) / Waiting (4:48) / Vanity Calls (5:39) / Fearland (5:04) / Mirror Of Time (7:35) / Dimensional Gate (3:47)

Mane Cabrales ? drums and percussion
Eddie Del Palacio ? keyboards
Aaron Del Palacio ? bass
David Quicho ? vocals & guitar

Universal Mind (2002)
Ego (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin MX

Added: January 12th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.dimensionhome.com
Hits: 964
Language: english


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