Status Minor - Dialog (Lion Music)

Score: 55 / 100


At first glance, this seems like a mediocre, by-the-books prog-power CD. And--for the majority of its running time--it is. Sure, I get that Status Minor didn't want to take crazy chances, what with this being their first full-length release... but, really, where are the ideas? During the first half hour of Dialog, the hooks are sorely missing, and a lot of their material sounds overly familiar. All is not lost, though: The album's final fifteen minutes are of much, much higher quality. However, these final fifteen minutes are all delivered in one single track--should that be enough to override the six, predominantly tedious, songs that preceded it?__Nah. But it does bode well for Status Minor's future. Bands far more tenured than them have crumbled under the weight of fifteen-minute epics many times in the past (one semi-recent exception being the somewhat similar-sounding Circus Maximus, whose debut also featured a lengthy, epic closer), so for them to keep it together the way they've managed to is very impressive. __Featuring the best instrumentation, the catchiest vocal lines, and the most memorable melodies, the title track is something the Finnish fivepiece can and should be proud of. Don't get me wrong, "Dialog" the song isn't a "prog masterpiece"--it sort of just ends, and the middle portion with the dialogue between a mother and her daughter, while relatively competently executed, lacks emotional impact--but it is definitely the album's saving grace. "Machine", the track that precedes it, also has a couple of shining moments: The intro is simultaneously groovy, psychedelic and futuristic, and although it is disappointing that most of the rest of the song is your typical, straightforward modern-prog outing (albeit on the better end of the scale, since it's basically a Circus Maximus song), that particular piece of music is evidence that Status Minor does have a creative vein. When their follow-up album sees the light of day, hopefully they'll have the cojones to tap into said vein more frequently.

by Thor