Status Minor - Dialog (Lion Music)

Mayfairmallzine.com review

Status Minor are the latest signing for Lion Music and this Finnish band deliver a huge Progressive Metal sound for their debut that will surely put the band on the Prog Metal map. The band of Markku Kuikka - vocals, guitarist Sami Saarinen, Jukka Karinen - keyboards, Eero Pakkanen - bass and Rolf Pilve - drums, are little known names now but when word gets out, they are sure to be on the lips of most the Prog Metal fraternity before the end of 2010. The album opens up with 'Something More', an aptly titled track because that's in fact what you want to hear, something more. The band have a darker edge than most Prog Metal bands around at the moment and this is to the bands advantage as Kuikka vocals range is just stunning, he can lift a track to heights with a stunning melodic vibe and then turn to the darker vibe and fill everything else in-between.

'Out of These Streets' is a really titanic opus with Pilve and Pakkanen delivering the goods big style, whilst Saarinen and Karinen guitars and keyboards are in perfect harmony and bounce off each other superbly, and with Kuikka you're always sure of a fantastic vocal. Coming in a just under four minutes 'Stand And Think' is the shortest track on the album but what a great stomping thunderous slice of Prog Metal this is. The huge riff building from Saarinen is only matched by the double kick assault of Pilve.

As far as multi faceted tracks go then 'Machine' ranks as one of those that many will find different influences, from the Malmsteen guitar moments to the Evergrey thumping bass and drums, but all in all a great track that depicts the genre. But one of my favourite pieces from the album has to be 'Fade Away', this is what Progressive Metal is all about, mixing majestic keyboards with stunning guitar work all on the foundation of a great back beat. But it's the fantastic vocals of Kuikka that really make their mark here, a stunning melodic vocal that would be hard to match for clarity anywhere, simply stunning. 'Masquerade' is another keyboard and guitarist dream, again both rebounding of each other with the pummeling back beat keeping things together, all interwoven with another outstanding vocal performance.

Saving the best to last come to mind as the album closes with the epic fifteen minute masterpiece of the title track 'Dialog', with the introduction of narrative extra vocals adding to the dynamic of the track. A real prog metallers dream ends what is a stunning debut release from a band that are about to rock the Prog Metal world big style.