When Swedish prog masterminds A.C.T released this new EP, it came as a surprise to me. It is the first sign of life since “Trifles and pandemonium” (2016) which followed upon the studio album “Pandemonium” in 2014. Hopefully the guys are “back and biting”, and the recent gig at the Sweden Rock Festival probably didn’t discourage this hope…
The line-up is still HERMAN SAMING (lead vocals), JERRY SAHLIN (keyboards, vocals), OLA ANDERSSON (guitars, vocals), PETER ASP (bass, keyboards) and TOMAS LEJON (drums).
Ticking in on only a bit over 22 minutes, this EP could almost qualify as a single by A.C.T standards. The longest songs are the opener “The ruler of the world” and the finishing tune “A broken trust”, both a bit over 5 minutes each.
But the sound is the same from this great quintet! Take equal shares of SAGA, QUEEN, DRERAM THEATER and THRESHOLD and – tada! You get A.C.T. They are like a self-playing piano, because this unit sounds so tight that they are grown together. Siamese quintruples? They manage to deliver both softness and a rocking edge in each tune, which is probably on of the reasons why they have fans all the way from soft AOR:sters to prog-metal dudes.
The melody and the arrangements in”The ruler of the world” makes me think of an anthem! Also, the very first bars are top notch neoprogressiveness. I have always loved their unique ways of finding cool spices in their songs, like the digital lady voice in “Digital affair”.
As always there are many superb things to find in the band’s musicianship. Like the cool guitar fills/solos between 03.15 and 03.36 in the last song “A broken trust”. Simply great playing by Andersson! If you like what A.C.T have given us before – don’t hesitate!