In 2005, Glenn Snelwar started a project called At War With Self with Fates Warning drummer Mark Zonder and bassist Michael Manring. The result of this power trio was the album "Torn Between Dimensions" which was released on the Laserís Edge Free Electric Sound label.
Unfortunately the Ďtrioí didnít carry on but the name did and Glenn Snelwar proceeded with a new line-up for Acts of God. Joining Glenn is long time friend Damon Trotta. Damon appears on almost every track, and plays bass guitar, synths, didgeridoo and also sings on a couple tracks. You can say this version of the band is a ďDuo PlusĒ The rest of the musicians include a vocalist called Mark Sunshine, Steve Decker & Manfred Dikkers on drums, James VonBuelow on guitars and David Archer on synths.
The music to me is not better than the debut, itís more expansive especially with the addition of a vocalist. I also think Glennís musical visions are set loose on this CD more so than the debut. Plus there seems to be more musical dynamics going on. For instance the first track, 'Intro', which starts off with a soothing acoustic guitars then builds to something quite intense. .
The music has a very dark atmospheric, almost gothic vibe to it. It reminds me of two bands, OSI and Paatos (instrumentation) but has an identity that I havenít heard before. Another thing I heard was a slight Peter Gabriel resemblance in a song called 'End In Blue'. Dare I say it could be a darker side of Peterís world music endeavors.
This is a very dark, disturbing CD and I like it. The reason I like it is itís a metal album that thinks way way outside of the box. With titles like '911' and 'Choke Loud' youíll understand this is not a happy album but itís not an angry one either.
I think fans of the debut will like this especially if the enjoy Glennís creativity and see he can do a great album without Mark Zonder & Michael Manring. I know those names carry a lot of weight in the progressive realm so some may approach this with caution. To those, Iíd say throw away your inhibitions, take a chance on "Acts of God". Yes itís a challenging listen and may take a few times for it to gel but once it does youíll go WOW.
In closing, I do like the direction Glenn is going with At War With Self and I hope thereís many more albums under his belt. At War With Self is a very important band to the new progressive regime and you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of ďActs Of GodĒ today!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on May 17th, 2007