Creation’s End – A New Beginning (Sensory Records)

Wednesday, 20th March 2013
Rating: 6.5/10

Boasting a pseudo all-star lineup with former Riot/Masterplan singer Mike Dimeo and James Labrie guitarist Marco Sfogli in the ranks, Creation’s End are the stinging example that for the millionth time, all the talent (and perhaps, good intentions) does not a good band make. The band’s debut A New Beginning is a clunky, sometimes experimental stab at Dream Theater-inspired progressive/power metal, and like so many before them, there’s just too much DT-aping going on. The only saving grace appears to be Dimeo.

Dimeo is very much a vastly-underrated singer, having made Masterplan’s MK IIa near world-beater, along with his work on Riot’s killer Sons of Society. On A New Beginning he has plenty in which to work with, including the booming chorus on opener “Of Shadow and Flame,” and crunchy verse section on “World Holocaust.” The man also tests the waters via some nice harmonies on the ballad-like “Hollow” and “Forsaken.”

What lies beneath Dimeo is pretty standard progressive metal stuff. The pre-requisite down-tuned guitars serve as the foundation, as do loads upon loads of noodle-y keyboards, most of which are totally unnecessary, and at times, a bit annoying, especially on “Still Life.” Outside of that, the aforementioned Dream Theater influence is front and center; you can hear it in the chord progressions and keyboardist Rudy Albert’s patches. Can’t we pick someone new in the progressive metal field to copy?

Make no mistake – Dimeo is the only selling point of Creation’s End. Had some other helium-induced hack been fronting this band, then A New Beginning would be a total wash. Hopefully the man is more than just a singer brought into to sing over someone’s compositions…next time, out how about dropping the Dream Theater worship and let Dimeo do his thing like, the whole way through.

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