4th Dimension - The white path to rebirth 4.5/5
1. The sun in my life
2. Consigned to the wind
4. Sworn to the flame
6. A new dimension
7. Winter's gone
8. Labyrinth of glass
9. Angel's call
10. Landscapes (Vestige of the earth)
I've been waiting for a CD like this for several months, and maybe even a few years. 4th Dimension's 'The white path to rebirth' is the ultimate CD for lovers of Italian power metal, which hit its peak between the late-90s and early-2000s. In all honesty, I think I enjoy that portion of my power metal life more than any other. Hearing Wonderland, Sigma, Labyrinth and Vision Divine (some quick examples) for the first time was like getting an adrenaline shot. I loved every minute, and that may be why I've been returning to CDs from that era a lot recently. Hell, I've spun Wonderland's 's/t' debut at least once a week this entire year, which is an enormous amount considering how large my CD collection is. In fact, is it just me, or are tracks 3 though 5 of Wonderland's debut the best 3 songs in a row - EVER? It's probably just me, but it wouldn't hurt to mention that track 5 "Summer waiting" is my wife's all-time favorite song from my entire collection.
Okay, back to this debut...
In every way, 4th Dimension is your typical Italian power metal band. Expect a good amount of keys, plenty of speed, and a vocalist (Andrea Bicego) with a slight accent, and he reminds me a lot of Riccardo Minicucci - the vocalist of the new and great band Ananke. For comparisons, it's easy to throw 4th Dimension in the large group of bands that contains Labyrinth, Highlord, Wonderland, Firestorm, Concept, Secret Sphere, Vision Divine, Sigma, Ananke, Soul of Steel, Infinity, Shadows of Steel, Athlantis, Projecto, Heavenblast, Oracle Sun, and surely some others.
What makes this such a magnificent CD is how catchy it is. Whether it's a keyboard solo, a guitar solo, a powerful rhythm, or the vocals - there are many hooks. Plus, there's a superb balance of tempo, with more than enough speed to greatly satisfy any power metal fan, but there are also some slow and emotional parts. The songs grab your attention from their opening moments, and there are some wonderful choruses. Really, every song on this CD is a winner, and there isn't even one song that I dislike. I should also mention that track 5 "Everlasting" has female vocals (courtesy of Melody Castellari), and together with Andrea, there are some really nice harmonies. In addition, Fabio Lione (known for his role in Rhapsody/Rhapsody of Fire/Vision Divine) provides the vocals on track 6 "A new dimension", a song with tons of speed and more of a symphonic feel - a la Rhapsody/Rhapsody of Fire.
Finally, I must remind you that I'm a major lover of Italian power metal, so if you're not someone who cherishes CDs from Wonderland, Sigma, Labyrinth, Vision Divine and so on, you probably won't like this quite as much as me. That said, there's no doubt that this band has all of the ingredients in place and I'm hopeful that they'll give power metal fans many more high quality CDs.
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