A.C.T — Last Epic

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A.C.T - Last Epic cover
3.67 | 11 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2003

Filed under Metal Related
By A.C.T


1. Intro (0:48)
2. Wailings From A Building (4:21)
3. Mr. Landlord (4:40)
4. Torn By A Phrase (5:35)
5. Ted's Ballad (3:46)
6. Dance Of Mr. Gumble (2:09)
7. Wake Up (4:27)
8. Manipulator (6:13)
9. A Loaded Situation (3:29)
10. The Observer (3:07)
11. The Cause (3:26)
12. The Effect (4:39)
13. Summary (5:04)
14. Outro (1:15)
Bonus tracks on Special Edition
Ted's Ballad (demo) (3:39)
Summary (demo) (3:01)
Mr. Landlord (demo) (4:51)
String Medley (2:52)

Total Time 69:57


- Herman Saming / lead and backing vocals
- Jerry Sahlin / keyboards, vocoder, lead and backing vocals
- Peter Asp / bass guitar, backing vocals, percussion
- Ola Andersson / guitars, lead and backing vocals
- Thomas Lejon / drums

Guest musicians:
- Sara Svensson / lead vocals on "The Effect"
- Thomas Erlandsson / percussion

About this release

Release date: January 22, 2003
Label: Atenzia Records ATZ 02005

Special Edition released though InsideOut Music (2007)

Thanks to dtguitarfan for the addition and progshine for the updates

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A.C.T LAST EPIC reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

The Crow
Nothing new in the horizon...

But with this superb production and strong songwriting is also this lack of surprises is not so important. If that's the first A.C.T album you hear you'll be totally blown away with their eclectic vision of prog-rock, dramatic changes in almost every song and their influences, which balance between Dream Theater, Saga, Queen and musical and cabaret spectacles.

The king of the record is still Ola Andersson and his marvellous guitars and solos, alongside with the good vocals (but a bit too high pitched for my taste) of Herman Saming. The rest of the band is also great! And they managed to expand a bit their instrumental sound with some strings arrangements this time.

Nevertheless, I have the problem that I heard the A.C.T two previous albums before Last Epic, and therefore I find this third effort a bit repetitive and not really better, despite the general opinion. Actually, I think is under Today's Report and Imaginary Friends in terms of quality. It's obviously not so progressive and too ballad oriented, and the lyrical concept just weak.

Wake Up, Manipulator and Mr. Landford are outstanding and dynamic tracks, while others like Ted's Ballad are just average. Nevertheless the whole album is enjoyable thank to the incredible Andersson solos and imaginative riffs, along with the spectacular choirs and vocal melodies.

Conclusion: Last Epic brought nothing really new to A.C.T fans, apart from another very good example of eclectic prog, strong songwriting and pristine production. And all of this is great, but I'm a bit disappointed with the lack of evolution of the band. They just made a record which sounds just like the same of the two previous albums, but a bit less progressive and more conventional. Maybe they were trying to be more commercial?

Hard to say.

Best Tracks: Wailings from a Building, Mr. Landford, Wake Up, Manipulator, Dance of Mr. Gumble.

My rating: ***

This review was originally written for ProgArchives.com
"Last Epic" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish progressive rock/metal act A.C.T. The album was released through Atenzia Records in January 2003. "Last Epic" was re-released through InsideOut Music in 2007 and thereby given a wider distribution and publicity.

The music on the album is an interesting combination of 70s influenced art rock and a soft type progressive metal. The band are incredibly skilled musicians and pull off both complex rhythmic playing and more mellow type playing too. The vocals are especially impressive with both skillfully executed choirs and harmony vocals. I´m often reminded of the theatrical nature of Queen but actually even more of 10cc. There´s a tongue in cheek kind of humour about the music that points in the direction of the latter mentioned. The progressive metal element isn´t dominant on the album but when it appears the band can actually play some pretty heavy riffs and intriguing instrumental parts. I´m reminded slightly of early Dream Theater in a much more simple form. The predominantly brief instrumental parts are usually cleverly placed in the otherwise predominantly vers/chorus structured tracks. There are several highlights on the album, but I´d mention tracks like like "Wailings From a Building" and the wonderful "Mr. Landlord" as some of my personal favorites.

The sound production is clear, powerful, and detailed and suits the music well. So "Last Epic" is overall a quality release and while I sometimes feel the band could have cut down on the more ballad type tracks in favour of more hard rocking tracks (which is where I feel the band excel), even the ballads are a means to an end and upon conclusion "Last Epic" is a pretty well balanced album with a good flow. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
This album holds very high status in my collection. If I were to introduce someone to the Progressive Rock genre by handing them a stack of 10 albums, this would be one of them. And the band has this knack for creating intricate, yet incredibly catchy tunes. Whenever I pull this album out to listen to it, for days afterwards I find myself humming or whistling sections of the album. I sometimes find myself remembering and humming or whistling sections of this album even after months of not listening to it. This is an incredibly unique album. The best way I can think to describe this album is with Peter Pan's words: "Oh the cleverness of me!" I pick this phrase not only because "clever" is the best word to describe the album, but also because of the playfulness of the band - like a musical Peter Pan. The album is a concept album that introduces different residents of an apartment building as musical characters. In one of the songs, titled "Wake Up ? Apartment 122", I believe the apartment itself is made into a character. The music of this song itself is very playful, and has a Progressive Reggae feel to it. But the lyrics are especially playful - here is a section:

All these weird things that I am seeing, Glad I'm not like a human being, Losing temper, and problems with PMS?

This album is a masterpiece, and you should listen to it. I promise you it will be a fun experience, at the very least. The only reason I'm giving this 4 stars and not 5 is due to the feel of the album being less heavy than what I think most people on this site would look for, but the music itself is incredible.

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