Dim Gray - Firmament

(CD 2022, 44:36, English Electric Recordings)

The tracks:
  1- Mare(3:59)
  2- Ashes(3:14)
  3- Undertow(2:48)
  4- Avalon | The Tide(4:12)
  5- 52~(4:19)
  6- Abalus | In Time(3:55)
  7- Long Ago(4:07)
  8- My Barren Road(3:18)
  9- Cannons(3:43)
10- Iron Henry(3:21)
11- Firmament(2:45)
12- Meridian(4:56)

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In fact, I had never heard of Dim Gray before, the Norwegian art rock trio consisting of Håkon Høiberg (electric and acoustic guitars, mandolins, lead vocals on 9 and parts of 1, 6 and 7, backing vocals), Oskar Holldorff (vocals, keyboards, electronic percussion, programming, orchestration) and Tom Ian Klungland (drums, acoustic and electronic percussion, backing vocals). But their debut album Flown (2020) was highly praised, so I thought to give the new album Firmament a couple of spins.

Unfortunately, I really did not like the twelve chamber pop songs on Dim Gray's new album, as I became utterly bored after another Radiohead or Keane like soft pop ballad, which all sounded the same to me. What I especially got fed up with was the irritating high-pitched over dramatic vocals of Holldorff and the same tiresome melodies from the first till the last song. The lack of musical variety did the rest and sad but true guitar solos and or keyboards solos are non-existant on Firmament; furthermore, I would not call this progressive music at all, so maybe it is better not to review this album on a progressive rock site.... Maybe there is something wrong with me, as lots of people seem to really like this album and even call it spectacular or wonderful and arty pop at its finest; for me it is a no go, better said, no listen album. But then again, as we all know, there is no account for taste!

No rating ...... Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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