Status Minor - Dialog (Lion Music)

Rating: 89/100


Status Minor is a Finish quintet in which the age varies from twenty-two till thirty-nine. The two youngest form the rhythm section en they do that well. The difference in age does certainly not hold the five musicians of making fine metal. Metal with progressive influences, like Symphony X does, but melodic enough to keep the songs interesting and vital. Not all the songs are that progressive. 'Stand And Think' and 'Masquerade' are more metal and have less progressive influences. Think of Dream Theater at times of 'Images And Words'. All the songs have nice arrangements, enough pace changes and there are more than enough solo's, guitar as keyboards as well. Guitarist - and founder - Sami Saarinen and keyboard player Jukka Karinen often have a duel to fight. They never intend to go over the top although - which makes the music restless - but keep it open and serve the songs. This keeps the songs accessible. Singer Markku Kuikka is not singing for a very long time yet - since he put his guitar aside - but is doing a good job and the band can be pleased with him to have.

From opener 'Something More' you hear what the band stands for. Nice riffs, pompous keyboards, a tight rhythm section and clear, strong singing invite you for a small musical adventure. The next 'Out Of These Streets' is a heavy song - try to keep your head still - varied with nice calm passages. After the straight rocker 'Stand And Think' follows the ballad 'Fade Away' in which Markku Kuikka shows his abilities as a singer. The band gives full throttle again with 'Masquerade' and we hear a totally other side of Markku. 'Machine' sounds as the title does supposes, mechanical, with heavy riffs, nice breaks, dubble base drum, delicate use of a gong en flashy solo's. The final song 'Dialog' is an almost sixteen minute epical triptych which will be the most to the heart of prog enthusiasts. The use of 'voice actors' (a dialog between mother and daughter) is not a new thing (for example Queensr├┐che's 'Operation Mindcrime' en Dream Theater's 'Scenes From A Memory') but fits the song. With 'Dialog' Status Minor delivers a very nice CD. It has strong songs, has a modern sound, and the musicians play well. If you are a fan of melodic, accessible progressive metal you can not ignore this one.