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Sound Of Contact - 'Dimensionaut' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c5/ad/e3/Sound-Of-Contact-Dimensionaut-4-1381082104.jpg Hot

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An extremely pleasing album.

Until Steve Hackett mentioned him during an interview, I was unaware that Simon Collins (son of the legendary Phil – he must get tired of being called that) was in the music industry and had released three solo albums; but here he is with his first release as a member of a band/project with himself on vocals and drums alongside Dave Kerzner (keys & vocals) plus studio collaborators Kelly Nordstrom, Matt Dorsey (both providing guitar and bass) and vocalist Hannah Stobart who some might recognise from her Wishing Tree collaboration with Steve Rothery (Marillion).

This is an extremely pleasing album and one that I am sure will be embraced by those with a liking for the Progressive genre; it certainly suggests a worthy new entity has entered the scene. I was impressed from the first play but with repeated listens the songs have ingrained themselves on my psyche making it an indispensable addition to my collection. There can be no denying the heritage in both Simon's voice and drumming style but over repeated plays I have become less fixed on the initial impression that this was a new derivation of Genesis as different, more prominent, comparisons came to mind such as Frost*, It Bites, Steve Hogarth era Marillion plus smatterings of Pink Floyd (PF) and Rush. That said, certain passages are somewhat redolent of Genesis circa 'Duke', 'Abacab' and 'Genesis' albums mainly due to the phased/flanged electric piano sound used and some of the synthesiser treatments but not to such an extent as to be distracting.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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It's a concept album, naturally; you'll find the story explained in an interview elsewhere in this magazine, but like any good album of this nature the songs work in their own right as well as meshing delightfully as a continuous piece. Melodies, hooks and memorable refrains are the order of the day and there's not a weak moment across the album's duration. 'Cosmic Distance Ladder' is an immense instrumental in the Frost* vein with Collins excelling on drums and some Dream Theater style moments. 'Pale Blue Dot' is one of many highlights; a mid-paced number it has huge hooks and an infectious chorus. 'I Am Dimensionaut' is a power ballad that tips its hat at Genesis. It builds nicely and features more lovely drumming and great piano work from Kerzner. 'Not Coming Down' is wonderfully melodic while 'Remote View' has an initial Spock's Beard vibe but both have an overall It Bites feel.

'Beyond Illumination' is a fine track with Stobart duetting with Collins thus providing a different perspective with the female vocal. 'Only Breathing Out' and 'Closer To You' both have great melodies and choruses while 'Realm Of In-Organic Beings' pays tribute to PF's 'Great Gig In The Sky' and 'Omega Point' is another that builds power most delightfully. The album closes with 'Mobius Sleep' an epic number that moves through various phases including one sounding remarkably like Steve Hogarth.

Let's hope this is just the start.

Gary Marshall

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