Here’s our first look at Swedish progressives A.C.T who have been off our radar for two decades. For an EP, it’s an extensive listen.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Falling (EP)
LABEL: Avalon (Japan)
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sweden
LINEUP: Herman Saming – lead vocals * Ola Andersson – lead guitar, vocals * Jerry Sahlin – keyboards, vocals * Peter Asp – bass guitar, synthesizer, percussion * Thomas Lejon – drums, percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 Fall In * 02 Digging A Hole * 03 The Girl Witout A Past * 04 Breathe * 05 A Race Against Time * 06 One Last Goodbye * 07 The Earth Will Be Gone * 08 Fall Out
It’s been many a year since we looked at Swedish progressives A.C.T, a band that preceded fellow Swedes Jono by a few years, but hovered around the scene when other prog giants like Saga and Royal Hunt were in vogue. The band have released a mixture of full length albums and EP’s, though to be fair, their EP’s are just as long as a full length album, as progressive bands are prone to doing.
A.C.T retain the same lineup as we saw on the only other release that GDM has reviewed, being 2003’s ‘Last Epic’ which was a concept album. In recent years, the Swedes have kept their output to EP’s, releases in 2019, 2021 and this one in 2023. Their last full length effort came out in 2016. So what do A.C.T sound like all these years later?
‘Falling’ apparently, is a continuation of an ongoing series of EP’s based around a theme, and so far we are into round 3 of 4. I went back and had a look and a listen at the prior two EP’s ‘Rebirth’ and ‘Heatwave’. The first was about a marriage breakup, the second was about a wildfire weather event in Northern Sweden, the third (this one) is about a mysterious object falling from the sky in a potential extinction event. From where I sit, I’m unsure whether the themes are interconnected or not.
You can tell by the track titles listed above, that there appears to be doom and gloom on the horizon. ‘Fall In’ is a short 30 second intro which leads into ‘Digging A Hole’, a song about preparing in the best way possible for the forthcoming event. Like, in the backyard or something. Maybe it should be called’ Building A Bunker in the Backyard’?
‘The Girl Without A Past’ is about a girl called Emelie who can’t remember her past but can peer into the future, and the foreboding event on the horizon. As reality is about to cave in, people are realizing that life and events on Earth are breaking down. ‘Breathe’ is about reevaluating one’s life with what little time is left.
‘A Race Against Time’ is self explanatory. Time is running out. What will humanity do when the shock and awe event arrives? Oh I know, everyone will take fucking selfies! ‘One Last Goodbye’ represents the end times. People will deal with it differently, despite the end result leading to the same eventual outcome. ‘The Earth Will Be Gone’ ends up being the album’s requiem moment while ‘Fall Out’ is the final act of Earth and humanity. That’s it. Time is up. Kaboom.
The EP is only 30 minutes, I enjoyed the storyline, the music was a bonus. It was like an audio equivalent of a movie or TV series where the world is on the brink of falling off the cliff. So, if there is a fourth chapter in store, what will A.C.T write about since the planet is extinct? Therein lies the intrigue. Wait around for the next episode.
The Girl Without A Past
One Last Goodbye