Despite successful tours supporting the likes of Saga and Fish, A.C.T has been regarded as somewhat of an inside secret in their home land of Sweden for some time now. But with last year’s release “Silence”, their first album for InsideOut Music, the band cracked the Swedish charts for the first time (chart position #4), and created quite a stir around Europe. Since then, their melodic brand of catchy prog which has elements of Saga, Queen and Rush has attracted a host of new fans. Now InsideOut is proud to re-issue the first three A.C.T albums as special editions, each including bonus material and enhanced booklets.
Listening to these re-issues, it’s easy to understand how the band has significantly evolved to achieve a more concise shape and quality to their sound. Self described as “melodic prog rock pomp pop”, A.C.T have been inspired by such luminaries as Rush, Saga, Queen, It Bites and ELO. Their sound is compositionally complex with an extremely strong focus on melody and is tied together with upbeat arrangements.
“Today’s Report” (1999) helped to define A.C.T‘s style with concise yet thought provoking melodic prog. With the title track they had a secret hit, which strongly recalled classic Saga. The bonus material featured on this new edition includes two rare tracks (“Grandpa Phone Home” and “New Age Polka”) as well as a multi-media element featuring a live video.
“Imaginary Friends” (2001) features some heavier guitar parts but also incorporates some orchestral sequences including a wonderful solo violin. The song structures are at times quite Beatlesque with vocal harmonies reminiscent of Queen. The album’s highlight is the eight part prog epic “Personalities (the long one)”. This new edition includes a rare track (“Catherine”) as well as a multi-media section featuring an eleven minute “Making of” documentary.
The concept album “Last Epic” (2003) features a union of metal riffs, progressive arrangements and pop/rock elements all coming together. The album is both a powerful and enjoyable listening experience. This edition includes bonus material in the form of demo versions of the album tracks “Ted’s Ballad”, “Summary” and “Mr. Landlord”.
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