Dog Drama - Soundgraphia review
|Release date:||February 2012|
01. Citta Sera
07. Citta Notte
If we were to take an X-Ray of Dog Drama's music, this is probably what we would find written in the form of bones: from Russia with prog.
This is an instrumental album with all its pros and cons. In the backbone of the album, there is a certain older sound and Porcupine Treeisms in the riffs. We also find long winding solos and strong atmospheres built with guitar effects. In fact, the guitar is the dominant force in Soundgraphia and even assumes the role of a voice in the form of solos, as often happens in instrumental albums.
The album's structure is similar to what you find in Opeth's My Arms, Your Hearse, where the songs interconnect but instead of being the last word linking one song to the next, here it is the last instrumental riff/sounds providing that link. This helps to arrange the album and build a coherent storyline. You can also hear the acoustic side of Opeth dropping in from time to time but not bluntly. The mood of the album is typical of somber nights and meditative states and the waves of sound which establish themselves song after song reinforce this feeling of melancholy.
The band incorporates a certain fusion into the songs, Middle Eastern hints, and a good dose of acoustic flashes and post-rock influences. There are heavier moments like in the songs "Sultan" and "Sicilia" but most of it isn't searching for a heavy spasm or outlet. The songs are very layered, diverse and expansive. There is also a direct link between the song titles and the music itself as they are all very evocative. According to the band, the song titles also represent certain geographical locations.
However, Soundgraphia lacks a bit of that extra edge which makes you titillate and suffers from the usual limitation of instrumental albums: the risk of becoming monotonous. The band appears to still be trying to find their step and nature, and be able to grow from there. What they present isn't immediate, it is demanding for the listener, sometimes too demanding even for prog. They don't seem to be going through an identity crisis but they could take a clearer vision of where they want to go instead of traveling without destination.
Best moments: "Sicilia", "Sultan" and "Frangistan".
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