When I talked to Layered Reality Production's Tom de Wit a while ago, he told me one his goal was to sign bands that added something new or special to the existing progressive metal scene. With the release of Dimaeon, I think he firmly sticks to this aim. This band blends progressive-, doom- and death-metal with seventies progressive rock and long instrumental, jazz-influenced parts into a truly original sound. Founded in 2002, Dimaeon consists of guitar-duo Syberen Boonstra and Rembert Breidenbach. The latter also plays the synths on the album. Ferdinand Wanders is the band's lead vocalist and both bass player Philippus Yntema and drummer Danny Boonstra contribute vocal parts to the album.
Their 2013 album Collapse Of The Anthropocene sees nine compositions, varying in length from 5.55 to 15.40 minutes, and tells the story of the end of civilization as we know it. The album sets off with a classical influenced intro during The Blood Of Millions, but within a minute pure, raw power takes over; fierce guitar riffs and death-metal vocals determine the rest of the composition, but always make sure the melodic aspect of music isn't forgotten, and this balances the song. Being a concept album, the following composition Dark Century, tells the next part of the story. Here, the atmosphere is almost serene; relaxed guitar melodies and regular vocals are on the menu. A strong point here is the way the crunchy electric guitar-riff forms the base for a very melodic, fusion influenced solo filled with distortion. Subterraneous sees the death-grunt vocals again, sung over a musical mixture of doomy and technical metal. Strong soloing and intense vocals highlight this impressive composition. One of the more brutal compositions on the album is the heavyweight champion The Ruins Of Mankind, which contains a nice, gentle part as a surprise, bringing back the softer acoustics towards the end of the song. It seems most of the band's compositions have this special twist, where the atmosphere completely chances in to the opposite direction, just to stay there for a while and then return to the way the song started. Cascade is more doom- than death-metal; the speed of the previous compositions was turned down to Black Sabbath speed. In a way, they honor the initiators of the genre, with strong melodies and nice twin solos, and including a part that can almost be categorized as spoken words. For me this song, which combines so many different styles, certainly is one of the highlights of the album. Influences of bands like Dream Theater, Opeth and Pain Of Salvation, as well as guitar fusion, can be heard in the following Black Dawn. The vocals are harsh and brutal, but the way the melodic elements are incorporated into the music is more than impressive. The seemingly simple guitar riff, combined with the strong drumming, does the trick for me, especially when a Tool-like bass line makes up part of the music. Glass Mountain sees yet another side of Dimaeon's music. This time the bass firmly lays down a more accessible progressive rock style. The vocals still are harsh and rough, but getting more satisfying for the regular progressive rock fan, the more these harsh parts go hand in hand with regular vocals parts. Regolith sees more of the progressive death-metal we've heard earlier on the album. Sometimes it seems the guitars definitely found their roots in the early eighties, as bits and pieces of Iron Maiden pass by, but always are nicely imbedded in a fierce foundation of modern death-metal. The album's closing composition is also the longest. Collapse Of The Anthropocene can be seen as the concept album's epic piece. Guitar-riffs and strong drumming determine the way the song goes. In a way, the vocals are quite consistent during this song, and seem to just follow the flow of the song. Minor escapades can be heard during this song; just a few incidental interludes to build up the tension. Very impressive, but not quite the bang I was waiting for to end this album with.
Collapse Of The Anthropocene is a strong album, that shows there is more than the average way of playing progressive rock music. The unique blend of spheres and moods makes sure the listener will stay focused on the music, that is perfectly performed by Dimaeon. If you want to try something different and very special, then listen to this intense and addictive album.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Esther Ladiges)
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