Genius - Episode 1: A Human Into Dreams' World
Genius (A Rock Opera) is a project by the so far pretty unknown Italian guitarist Daniele Liverani, normally occupied with his mainband Empty Tremor, who play all guitars, bass and keyboards himself on this album, and the storyline is shortly about the young boy Genius and his dream in a parallell dimension where he gets an insight in how peoples dreams are being created. The story is told to have a certain amount of scientific backup since studies in dreams and texts by Freud have served as insiration to the lyrics.
This album starts of in a horrible way with a kind of "soft" progressive metal with hints of Queen in it, and with not that good vocal performances as the vocalist - Mark Boals - doesn't seem to be able to handle even half of the registre he is supposed to. Unfortunatly he is responsible for a large percentage of the vocals on this album, and that is a big part of why the grades stay at the level they do. Now the vocal efforts on the album is split on various guestappearances, so it gets better on that area luckily - among those present on the creditlist are Chris Boltendahl, Oliver Hartmann, John Wetton and Steve Walsh, and they do a really great job the short periods of time they get to make their voice heard.
When we reach song 4 it starts to take form and than both the music and the vocals get better, and The Glory Of Our Land, There's A Human and Terminate are really good songs with heavier sound, better riffs and more "metal feeling", and we even get to hear Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger on vocals on The Glory Of Our Land.
Musically I have heard way better progressive metalalbums than this, and since the production is not of the highest quality either, with guitars that are too soft and "careful" and drums that sound like banging 2 cotton buds against an empty pot, this doesn't receive a lot of chalises from me. The song All Of Your Acts is one of those really sugarsweet prog/glam songs that almost make me puke - mix any keyboard pop song by Van Halen with the Rocky theme song Eye Of The Tiger, and that is what you get.
With more songs like The Glory Of Our Land and There's A Human this would be much more interesting for the average metalfan, and I hope for a turn in that direction for the next episode in this trilogy - than it might be interesting, I have to admit that.
See also review of: The Final Surprise