A.C.T — Today's Report (review)

A.C.T — Today's Report album cover Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
The Crow
An excellent debut álbum and a big surprise to me!

This band mixes elements and influences of a lot of bands I love. Rush (Saming's voice...), Saga (specially in the Ola Andersson guitar's sound, wich is sometimes very similar to this band, both in riffs and instrumental interludes...), Queen (the vocal harmonies and choirs...), Dream Theater (specially in the harder parts...), Supertramp (A.C.T are so eclectic as this band, and they have a similar dramatic feeling)... But adding a lot of originality in the form of a curious sense of humour, and a some odd musical experiments (calypso, pure jazz...) The results are simply brilliant and very funny. It's a pleasure to hear this album again and again, because it's catchy, fresh and hilarious.

The quality level of the tracks is also really high. Maybe the song Today's Report is under the rest of the tracks but it's just my personal taste. The rest of the tracks are good, with a lot of highlights. The long one, Personalities, it's just a collection of short songs put toghether, and it lacks some musical coherence, because there is any melodic connection between the fragments... But I love it anyway, because it's catchy, funny and wonderfully played, despite the silly lyrical concept.

The production of the album is also very good. Not spectacular, but very efficient and clear. I specially like the guitar sound, powerful and Saga-oriented, and the keyboard's arrangements. The musicianship is also very competent. Every instrument has its protagonism, and the friendly Herman's voice is well adapted to the funny musical direction. The main composer, Jerry Sahlin, makes also a very good work with the different keyboards.

Best songs: Abandoned World (powerful track wich opens this album in a heavy way...), Waltz With Mother Nature (maybe the best song of the album, with an incredible instrumental part and a funny calypso melody...), Welcome (very catchy verses, and another great musical interlude...) and Personalities (funny and really catchy, although a bit unconnected...)

Conclusion: a band with a true personality. Being not afraid of showing their influences, A.C.T are able to give the sensation of being hearing something new, fresh, and full of brilliant ideas. The prog metal lovers will find some interesting moments. The eclectic prog aficionado will also enjoy this work. And the people searching for humor in prog will be surprised! So I can strongly recommend this album to everyone, because being so variated, well executed and with this amount of good compositions, every listener will surely find something interesting on it.

My rating: ****

This review was originally written for ProgArchives.com
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