Album Review: A.C.T. – Rebirth

Photo Courtesy of A.C.T’s Facebook

Review by: Sean Cantor

In a time where prog music seems to be expanding at a tremendous pace, it’s not difficult to discover new bands or build new relationships with established bands.  This is made exorbitantly simpler with the accessibility of music through streaming services and digital mediums.  With that said, why aren’t more of you prog fans clamoring to worship at the altar of one of the most unmistakable progressive bands in the genre?  A.C.T is a Swedish prog rock band that is undeniably distinct in a sea of bands feeling around to find a sound of their own.  Their upcoming EP, Rebirth, is one of their most musically thought provoking yet immediately familiar efforts.

A.C.T has always been a band that layers warm and welcoming vocal melodies over a foundation of complex rhythmic patterns and unexpected dynamics.  Rebirth opens up very similar.  If you’re already a fan of the band the first two tracks feel as classic A.C.T as any track pulled from Last Epic. Without a doubt after two listens of each of these tracks the earworms will have reached the depths generally reserved for great pop songs.  The third track, “Digital Affair”, is a slight departure from the band’s typical sound.  The song builds from a robotic metronomic verse to a emotional chorus that reminds those familiar with the band of A.C.T’s ability to capture emotion in an honest way.  “Meet the Past” continues this theme of intertwining emotion with the band flexing their muscle of delivering a musically quirky and upbeat but seemingly introspective emotional perspective. “Broken Trust” is another slight departure for the band with a more direct riffing style and vocal during the verse but quickly gives us another catchy chorus with even more emotional power behind it. The songs although immediately catchy are best with multiple listens.  The album continuously reveals itself layer by layer with each listen.

This band is simply criminally underrated in the prog scene.  Within these five songs they not only present masterfully composed songs but each member shines individually.  Rebirth presents arguably the strongest performances from the band.  The leads in regards to the guitars and keyboards are beautifully technical and memorable.  The rhythm sections bring each song to their full potential while still feeding the album the variety and unexpectedness that comes with a great progressive release. Vocally Rebirth is outstanding with smoothly delivered melodies and harmonies that hook you well before you even realize you’ve been hooked.

Rebirth by A.C.T is a both exciting and new yet comfy and familiar sound from one of the most distinct bands in the progressive rock genre. Both maintaining the cornerstone of prog rhythms and unexpected twists and turns while layering the songs with memorable melodies and vocal hooks rivaling any pop hit.  This all while shedding light in their own quirky way into the emotional variety of the human experience.  The time for scouring YouTube for the latest kids trying to find themselves in prog has passed, the time is now for “Rebirth“.

Rating: 5/5

RIYL: Kaipa, Magic pie, karmakanic

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