You get the impression that former Dream Theater front man Charlie Dominici used the past 16 years since he left the America’s elite prog-metal act, with whom he recorded their debut release When Dream And Day Unite in 1989, exclusively to save his strength for a truly monumental work. Now he is about to release the third and final part of his 03 trilogy, proving emphatically that he still hasn’t run out of important things to say, in terms of both his music and his lyrics. Dominici refers to his music as “Melodic Progressive Metal ”, forging an arch with his compositions from ultra-tough riff monsters through atmospheric soundscapes to quiet, almost intimate moments.
This makes part 3 of his trilogy the culmination and pinnacle of a series of musical offerings which began in 2005 with the arrival of the purely acoustic Part 1 and was continued impressively in 2006 with the electric (and electrifying) Part 2. “This is not a continuation of part 2,” Dominici points out unequivocally. “It is the final part of three. Musically, it is obviously different from part 1, because part 1 was all acoustic and only performed by myself. Parts 2 and 3 are similar to each other musically in that they are both prog metal with a full band. Lyrically, part 3 is totally different from the other two parts because the story is finally concluded and much of the mysteries presented throughout the first two parts are finally made clear. Part 3 is the grand finale, both lyrically and musically.”
A truly furious finale, in which Dominici was supported by his technically outstanding band, which continues to consist of Brian Maillard (guitar), Yan Maillard (drums), Americo Rigoldi (keyboards) and Riccardo Atzeni (bass). An almost one-hour extravaganza of long instrumental parts, virtuoso solo passages and haunting vocals which repeatedly send shivers down the listener’s spine. Dominici reacts emphatically to the question whether the 03 Trilogy in general and the finale in particular have a specific moral, a message for their audience: “There is nothing but morals, lessons and messages. That’s the whole point of the story. You can call it ‘The DOMINICI Code’ if you like.”
Following the impressive chapters of the two predecessor albums, Dominici decided to try a new approach for the final part of his socially critical story. “Part 3 was done differently than both other parts. I decided I wanted to try something new and it worked as well as I had hoped it would. I waited to write a single word until I began writing the music with the band. The lyrics for Part 3 were not written, they were ‘grown’ like a garden. I separated eight blank word files and wrote the synopsis for each song at the top. I then went to each file as we were completing the music and completed the lyrics. I did it this way so the story had the best chance of being fully completed in the limited amount of time a CD can provide.”
This approach has produced some impressive results. Dominici has surpassed himself again, coming up with an awesome recording. This is certainly not what you’d call superficial background music! However, Dominici’s prognosis of his future recordings makes clear just how much energy and concentration this extremely demanding project has cost him. His answer to the question whether he is planning to tackle a similar project in the near future leaves little doubt: “Never again! I will never do another concept album as long as I live. This was the most difficult music and concept to complete although it was very rewarding and satisfying as an artist. Maybe I’m just a wimp, but I kind of feel the same way I feel about the recent loss of my beloved cat, ‘Tigger’. I loved the experience of knowing her, but I don’t think I would want to subject myself to this kind of pain again. No more cats, no more concept albums!”