1. Livin' On The Edge
2. Is Hell Without Love?
3. Through My Tears
4. Still Believe
5. Pride!!
6. Amazing Journey 
7. A New Day's Coming
8. Perennial Quest

Titta Tani - Vocals
Diego Reali - Guitars
Andrea Arcangeli - Bass
Fabio Sanges - Keybords
Fabio Costantino - Drums

DGM: "Misplaced"               dgm                                                              

review  by Marco "Norman Knight" Signore____   

DGM formed back in 1994 as an instrumental band, but after many changes, and after being considered one of the best prog metal bands in the Italian musical landscape, they reached the current line-up and after a very well reviewed album in 2003, they now release this “Misplaced”.

Only Diego Reali on the guitars is left of the original 1994 line up. With him are Titta Tani on vocals, Andrea Arcangeli on bass, Fabio Sanges on keyboards, and Fabio Costantino on drums. And let’s see what these five explosive guys are cooking for us!


The opener of this album is a hard and powerful song titled “Living on the Edge”. Raging guitars march upon a double drum highway of hammering and relentless energy, as the voice of Titta Tani draw schemes in the clear and high pitch supported by good background vocals. Bass and keyboards are a bit undertoned here, but they serve their purpose perfectly, almost from the shadow. The guitar marks the pace speed solo, but here the keyboards of Sanges strike with a perfect timing reposte, driving towards a final solo in unisono. The voice here is almost enraged as the guitar again plays the immediate and sharp riff that characterises this song. No doubt, a great opener!

A question is asked in the second song: “Is Hell without Love?”. If we heed the guitar, the answer is “yes”. Raging riff, powerful rhythm, and the vocals (singing like the mythical Russell Allen…) explain DGM’s theory on the subject. While the whole song is almost a tribute to the immense Symphony X, it retains enough originality to be a good and well conceived song. Again the main part is played by the agile and lightning-like guitar of Diego Reali that duets in the best prog tradition with the masterful keyboard of Fabio Sanges; although the recording gives little justice to the synth sounds, this song is well recorded, and doesn’t allow the tone of the album to fall down. Interesting is the central bridge with the choir dissonance, something few bands still do. It is a pleasure to hear such songs from an Italian band!

The question opened in the second song leaves us open minded for this third piece, called “Through my Tears”. This time the band decided to go with a slower gear… but never too slow. The drumming of Andrea Costantino is always very powerful and strong, and even the brief piano insets soon become a powerful hard rock song, even with the interesting insertion of a hammond-like sound solo by Fabio Sanges. Nothing else to say about the test of skill of the band. A good reality that manages to lure the ears of the listener until the end of every song. And so, we move to the next track of this album, which is keeping its promises.

Still believe” opens with a piano arpeggio with noises in the background. A ballad in the typical prog metal style, this song is interpreted in a nice way by the talented vocal Tani, but yet again the ghost of Symphony X appears between the notes. String pads introduce the rhythm section, bas and drums creating a perfect carpet for the arpeggios of keyboards and the tonal progression of vocals. But the quiet lasts only another second. Again the song explodes with pure energy. Incredibly well performed and sung, the chorus is energetic as we hear the first Italian words (a mix Rhapsody tested successfully some years ago but that still seems almost unknown in Italy!!!). Good song, a change of pace and the demonstration that DGM can easily change gear in the album, a proof being the almost reinassance-like central section of piano and violins that leads to a guitar solo in which every bend, every tap, every legato is strongly felt by Diego Reali. Bravo!

Pride” is the fifht track, powerful and destructive with a hint of epic sonorities. Proud should be this band after these tracks, and the best part is that we have still 3 tracks to go on.

This “Pride” is a good-sounding track, a mix of hard rock and prog metal (with an inbalance towards the former…). My only regret is that the bass is not enhanced enough, because the excellent work of Andrea Arcangeli is very well conceived and performed. I must also spend a word for the good drumming of Andrea Costantino, who among all the double drum manages to do some real arrangements! Easily we get to the guitar solo; very little effects and much skill to introduce the typical keyboard reposte, this time in a tonal crescendo. Well done, well done.

And we go into “Amazing Journey”. My favourite song! Odd tempo, nice synth sounds (almost like some scifi movies soundtracks I love). Again Tani performs the vocals in a tribute to the never praised enough Russell Allen of Symphony X (and it is surprising how also the song itself has many quotation from the Symphony X style!). The bass and drum lead us into a sort of vortex, a whirlwind of sounds and words spiralling towards an unknown destination, expecting the omnipresent (both in good and bad way) guitar and synth soloes. But this time is Andrea Arcangeli that surprises us with a bass arpeggio that serves as a bridge to a recited vocal part. Again we are sped into the maelstrom of notes in a crescendo of vocals reminiscent of Angra. And here you have the soloes in the best progmetal style, even a bit too much recalling the good couple Pinnella-Romeo!! All in all, as I said, this is my favourite song in this album.

A new Day is coming” is the following, seventh track. An harmonic riff in major introduces Tani singing on a rimshot drum… again the change of pace takes in and the song slips towards the usual energy that DGM inject into their compositions. Hard rock mixed up with prog metal, that’s truly the trademark of ths band. Good changes of tempo in this song may even teach a lesson or two to some more famous bands from over the Alps or the Ocean…

The album is closed by a song called “Perennial Quest”, which is also my second favourite. Almost power metal in the beginning, with a convincing voice singing over an extremely powerful drumming and bass-guitar rhythm duo, we get to the chorus – also mixing up with power metal standards, but without the embellished and too high pitched voice typical of that genre. Good work indeed: managing to write a power metal song without the power metal standards. This should be seen as a grant to the band’s maturity and capabilities.

What can be said of this album?  DGM have really made a good work. If I had to find a flaw or two… well, they are easily spotted because they are built-in directly into the genre: too much double drums, solo structures already listened, not terribly original sonorities. But these are flaws that almost every prog metal band has today. After all Rush and Fates Warning made up this genre, and the progressive rock already told everything it had to tell.

DGM do their own music

But these considerations aside, I can’t find a single stylistical flaw in this DGM album. Of course, they have yet to find a complete personality, in the sense that the compositions are not yet completely original, and they still cling to the genre’s cliché sometimes. The recording is good, although a bit confusionary in some passages, and the bass is not well enhanced in my opinion. Also, I would have expected soloes to be a little bit more original than they are.

Nonetheless, DGM are a really good band that doesn’t propose – as many Italian bands do – a bolied up sum of Dream Theater covers. No, they do their own music. Yes, they have influences – but name me a musician wthout influences!

A good work, interesting, well played, more than decently recorded, and what else? Ah yes… I hope to see them live!!! Well done!

rating: 8.5/10


Marco Signore  
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