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Dominici: O3 A Trilogy-Part 2

The name Charlie Dominici should be no stranger to fans of progressive metal, as he held the vocal slot on the debut Dream Theater album When Dream and Day Unite back in 1989. Now, 18 years later, the vocalist is back with a new band, Dominici, comprised of Brian Maillard (guitar), Yan Maillard (drums), Americo Rigoldi (keyboards), and Erik Atzeni (bass), delivering a heavy and complex concept album that should appeal to anyone into Dream Theater, Queensryche, Vanden Plas, Shadow Gallery, Pain of Salvation, and Symphony X.

is actually the sequel to Part 1 of the trilogy, which was released in 2005 and an all acoustic affair, but this one is the full band debut on InsideOut Music. The mix of heavy riffs, blazing guitar and keyboard solos, pulsating rhythms, and Dominici's soaring vocals, all help tell the story of one surly individual and his battles with his internal demons. The album kicks off with the sizzling instrumental "The Monster", as if to say "ok, this is a band first and foremost", and boy are they ever. With monster riffs and plenty of intricate bits, this is an impressive way to start things off here. "Nowhere to Hide" and "Captured" move the story forward, allowing Charlie to tell that story and show the world that he still has plenty of vocal pipes. On "Greed, the Evil Seed", you can expect plenty of complex arrangements as well as catchy melodies (the singer has some of his best moments here), and "School of Pain" starts off dark and brooding before the band crashes into the mix with tons of bombast. Brian Maillard digs in deep with some brutal riffage and Americo Rigoldi shows his chops with some tasty synth leads, but Dominici also impresses with his Geoff Tate-like vocal theatrics, especially on the second half of the song. Dream Theater meets Savatage? Sort of, and it really works.

Stabbing synth blasts merge with grinding guitar work on "The Calling", and Dominici's tender side come out on the proggy "The Real Life", a gentle piece supported by Rigoldi's keyboard textures. If you like balls to the wall metal, there's plenty of that on 'The Cop", complete with a snarling vocal and rapid fire drum fills from Yan Maillard, and the closing "A New Hope" is chops, chops, and more chops, with Brian Maillard's guitar and Erik Atzeni's bass running circles around each other, yet the song is still highly melodic and epic sounding.

Honestly, O3 A Trilogy-Part 2 is better than I ever thought it would be, and will surprise a lot of people. Charlie Dominici can still sing the progressive metal stuff, and he's got an interesting story to convey here as well as a sick band with him to help spread the word. Fans of heavy, complex prog-metal should eat this up, and eagerly anticipate part three.

Track Listing
1) The Monster (8:28)
2) Nowhere to Hide (5:06)
3) Captured (4:16)
4) Greed, the Evil Seed (7:27)
5) School of Pain (7:23)
6) The Calling (6:40)
7) The Real Life (3:28)
8) The Cop (4:49)
9) A New Hope (6:53)

Added: May 13th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Dominici Website
Hits: 4945
Language: english

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Dominici: O3 A Trilogy-Part 2
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-05-13 12:36:26
My Score:

The name Charlie Dominici is familiar virtually to any prog metal fans, as he was the original voice of Dream Theater, singing on their debut album before calling it quits and taking a long break from his recording career. He returned to the fold for the 15th anniversary of When Dream and Day Unite in 2004, and then released the first part of his concept trilogy, which was predominantly a laidback acoustic album. It baffled and impressed fans at the same time, but Charlie Dominici had already announced that the follow-up would be a heavier record and here it is.

This disc is a totally amazing piece of melodic prog metal. It begins with the eight-minute instrumental "The Monster", filled with bone-crushing rhythm guitars, smashing drum and bass battery, and the occasional but powerful keyboard back-up. It rocks back and forth, utilising some lush piano work in the middle to spice things up, but the relentlessly energetic composition is not sacrificed for even a second. Charlie Dominici comes to the fore on "Nowhere to Hide", driven by majestic synth playing and heavy-duty riffery. His vocals suggest a cool 80's prog metal vibe in the styles of Queensryche and Crimson Glory, but he sounds a lot more mature and convincing than he did on Dream Theater's debut. Being a concept about a child who is separated from his family and raised to be a terrorist, the album is often broken up by brief narration, radio excerpts, police sirens, et cetera. However, the flow of the record is so carefully maintained that the spoken sections do not bother the listener.

"Captured" starts out with cold acoustic guitars before growing into a huge rocker whilst "Greed, the Evil Seed" is more on the instrumental part of the spectrum. Brian Maillard's guitar work should suffice to please any Symphony X fan, but during the middle of the piece, things slow down with the arrival of a classical guitar intermezzo and thick keyboards blanketing it. The album's centrepiece comes in the form of "School of Pain", punctuated by killer acoustic guitars, moving vocals, and excellent dynamics. The songwriting, while nothing groundbreaking, suggests a rarely seen chemistry among the band members. Maillard's staccato guitar lines easily border on thrash metal and Dominici's singing is on par with the likes of Tate, Midnight, and Arch. Bringing in elements of the Middle East, every instrument serves to highlight the amazing vocal harmonies of Dominici and the solo parts are absolutely amazing.

The production of the album is good, but it can get grating when listened to on high volumes, especially with head phones. The guitar tones could be slightly more refined, but that's a minor complaint. Check this album out if you want to see where Charlie Dominici currently stands in the prog metal realm

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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