I have the DGM debut "Change Direction" and back then, 1997, had not been really enthused of it, so I also passed by the second and third album. For their fourth effort "Hidden Place" even in advance a lot of "ballyhoo" came my way, with the band being described as a crossover between DREAM THEATER and SYMPHONY X. Now everybody knows that I like those two bands a lot, so a cross between the two sounds like a very good idea indeed!
Packed into a rather weird cover (my guess would be Carlos del Olmo) that particular album is now rotating in my player and what should I say? Again I am not really impressed by it. Do not get me wrong, the production is stellar, the musicianship outstanding (especially the vocals of Titta Tani), the songwriting good, there is nothing to be complained about here, it is just that something is missing in my opinion.
Now I have the opportunity to chose from a fairly wide variety of albums of this style in my own collection, so maybe I am a little spoiled as far as that is concerned, but despite the obvious quality of the material at hand, it fails to fully convince me of its very outstanding nature in the context of the sub genre. Now, of course, you will ask, where does it fail to do so and I will try to give you at least some directions here…
Sure, an album like this one needs time, no question, but after a while things have to click in place and that they do only partly on "Hidden Place". With this I mean that at certain points, especially where they are going more progressive this is not fully the case with me and my ears. Songs like "Hidden Places" or also "Storm #351" just do not really lead anywhere, despite the amalgamation of progressiveness and real Metal.
On the other hand we have such outstanding tracks as "Save Me", the brilliant "Invisible Rain" or "Alone", which do not fully justify the big attribute of "Europe's answer to DREAM THEATER", but still show DGM as one of the definitively better bands of the genre, with flashes of brilliance as well, but a few more average tracks (as mentioned) still drag the overall impression down a bit, yet if you are into this style and like your Prog powerful, then DGM's latest is a release to behold! (Online June 2, 2003)