Status Minor - Dialog (Lion Music)

Review

I'd love to live in a country where metal is revered, where you can catch clips of my favorite artists on cable television when I want, and have tours pouring through the country twice and three times a week. Finland continues to push out waves and waves of newcomers, hoping to usurp the throne held by forerunners like Children of Bodom, Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius. Status Minor are a five piece melodic progressive metal act who signed with Lion Music on the strength of two previous promotional EP's. “Dialog” contains 7 songs - ending with an epic 15:44 title track that appears to have three acts, but for the most part circles around the heavier side of progressive metal, reminding me throughout of Seventh Wonder, Evergrey and Symphony X.

The piano parts are bright and firm, such as the opening off tempo play within “Machine” which Jukka Karinen then blends into an airy, upscale effort as the guitars and drums carry the energy with their fury. “Out of These Streets” takes a page out of the Symphony X neo-classical textbook, often having all 4 musicians attack the arrangement with middle-eastern chord phrasings and more off the chart time signature changes (I especially enjoy the quick stop starts from drummer Rolf Pilve). The title track contains some spoken word/ play interaction between a mother and daughter - and I question the need for bawdy language to help move the story forward. This song comes the closest to dragging out Dream Theater-like musical components, especially in the longer instrumental passages - but I think overall Status Minor attempt to steer clear of these obvious comparisons and go for a more song-oriented vision to their music.

“Stand and Think” has that circling Evergrey-ish guitar riff that captures my headspace every time - and I believe Markku Kuikka has that clear, passionate voice that befits such a versatile act as Status Minor. A decent start- lets hope they shed their cocoon of obvious starting points and develop into their own mature group by the next effort.

Composed by Matt Coe