DGM - Passing Stages

(2CD/DVD 2017, 56:12/ 64:32/120:44 Frontiers Records FR CDVD 799)

The tracks:
CD 1 (Live In Milan)
  1- The Secret (Part 1)(8:32)
  2- The Secret (Part 2)(7:27)
  3- Animal(5:01)
  4- The Passage(4:54)
  5- Reason(5:00)
  6- Daydreamer(5:51)
  7- Disguise(2:06)
  8- Fallen(6:13)
  9- Ghost Of Insanity(6:08)
10- Hereafter(5:00)
CD 2 (Live In Atlanta)
  1- Void(6:02)
  2- Reason(5:12)
  3- No Looking Back(6:01)
  4- Universe(4:15)
  5- Numb(4:54)
  6- in A Movie(5:52)
  7- Repay(5:09)
  8- Heartache(5:17)
  9- Enhancement(4:37)
10- Chaos(4:50)
11- Trust(7:06)
12- Brand New Blood(5:17)
DVD: Live in Milan And Atlanta)
  1- The Secret (Part 1)(08:32)
  2- The Secret (Part 2)(07:27)
  3- Animal(05:01)
  4- The Passage(04:54)
  5- Reason(05:00)
  6- Daydreamer(05:51)
  7- Disguise(02:06)
  8- Fallen(06:13)
  9- Ghost Of Insanity(06:08)
10- Hereafter(05:00)
11- Void(06:02)
12- Reason(05:12)
13- No Looking Back(06:01)
14- Universe(04:15)
15- Numb(04:54)
16- in A Movie(05:52)
17- Repay(05:09)
18- Heartache(05:17)
19- Enhancement(04:37)
20- Chaos(04:50)
21- Trust(07:06)
22- Brand New Blood(05:17)
23- Hereafter(06:30)

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After DGM's previous studio release, The Passage (2016, see review) the band was invited to front the Frontiers Metal Festival, in Milano on October 30th, 2016. With a powerful line-up consisting of guitarist Simone Mularoni, vocalist Marco Basile, bass player Andrea Arcangeli, drummer Fabio Costantino and keyboard player Emanuele Casali, DGM came to show their awesome musicianship and class. And now to the international audience as well, with the release of the double CD and DVD: Passing Stages.

The first CD, called Live In Milan holds the complete recording of the show on that extraordinary evening in 20016. The second CD however holds the complete concert when DGM performed at Prog Power USA in 2014. The nice thing about this double release is that the first CD is built upon the songs presented on The Passage, but including the best songs from other albums. The Prog Power performance is focussed around the songs of the infamous Frame (2009) and Momentum (2013) albums. Making both CDs interesting to listen to; just the amazing track; Reason is featured on both CD's, so both CD's hold a quite unique track list.

The accompanying DVD has a nice menu, where you can chose to watch either the Atlanta or the Milan concert. The Milan show is completely presented on both CD as well on the DVD, only the Altanta concert has one track; Hereafter, that is only presented on the DVD.

As a fan you are treated to a band at a their peak, both shows are impeccable; great performances by a great band.
The Atlanta show is a high speed performance, where the only point to rest your head comes from the wonderfully brought ballad style song Repay, where vocalist Basile totally nails it. Both guitarist Mularoni as well as keyboard player Casali get enough space and are superefficient on their solos. They also preserve the background vocals on the Altanta show.
Watching the Milan show, you know you have entered the world of backing tracks. Basile is basically backed up by himself, No problem in the modern world of music and technology, but it just distracts at some points. On the other hand, his voice gains an extra layer, when the tracks are used, which is good for the listener. A track that really stands out is Ghost Of Insanity, where the vocal parts, initially sung by Evergrey's Tom Englund are perfectly reproduced by Mularoni. My personal hint would be to use the vocal combination of Basile and Mularoni a bit more on the future. Another thing that makes the Milan concert stand out is the charismatic presentation of Basile, He uses his Italian temperament: talking with your hands to the max.

Passing Stages turns out to be a real treat to watch as well as to listen to, both concerts are nicely filmed and DGM really shines on stage. I guess these are typical shows for super professional musicians, full of entertainment and immaculate performances.

****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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