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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Dali's Dilemma

Manifesto For Futurism

Review by Gary Hill

Dali`s Dilemma is a new prog metal band on the Magna Carta label. The major influences to this reviewer are Queensryche and Dream Theater, but there are other leanings as well. The performances are solid, and the production quite good. This is an entertaining disc that should please most prog metal fans. Dali`s Dilemma is Matt Guillory, Matthew Bradley, Patrick Reyes, Steve Reyes and Jeremy Colson. Be sure to read the interview with Patrick and Steve in this issue.
Track by Track Review
Within A Stare
Beginning with entertaining keyboard textures, after a time, this gives way to a sound that seems to combine Queensryche with Dream Theater (the DT sounds predominate, though). With unusual timings and rhythms, this song is quite progish at times.
Miracles In Yesteryear
Rycheish, but with more DT sounds, this one includes a nice modern jazz oriented break with some wonderful bass work. The instrumental break the runs into very DTish modes and classic prog elements as well.
Despite The Waves
A metallic, yet poppy, intro leads to a sound that can be best described as Nektar with a metal edge. The intro then moves more into a DT type sound. Once it enters the song proper, it becomes a pretty straightforward metal tune which includes some Rushish prog segments. The song (which also includes more DTish moments) is about breaking away from the old and familiar abuse cycle and into unknown territory. "And all this time you've hidden the abuse, But now you have a way out, It's your life, just choose"...."So afraid, but not for long, You'll brave the sea despite the waves, Now is time to shed your fears, You braved the sea despite the waves."
Whispers
A beautiful melancholy keyboard texture forms the basis for this pretty instrumental.
Astral Days
This is a solid number, but not really a standout. It is a hard-edged cut much in the vein of Dream Theater.
Andromeda Sunrise
Picked guitar begins this one, which then takes on Dimeolaish tones for a time. It is a very Spanish tinged instrumental.
This Time Around
Starting with a staccato, classically tinged intro, this one is essentially a slow rock composition with prog and metal leanings. The track has a very intriguing texture and some adept changes.
Hills of Memory
Folkish acoustic guitar starts this track. The song is a nice ballad that seems to combine elements of bands as diverse as U2 and Queensryche. This is an evocative and powerful number that features some solid instrumentation and a very attention grabbing percussive performance. The arrangement to this one gets quite lush at times.
Can't You See
With a rhythm pattern and guitar sound that seems to call to mind very early Rush, this one really comes on with a vengeance. After this quirky intro, it cuts back to more traditional prog metal modes, somewhat arena rock oriented. The number definitely has DT influences, but woven in an original DD pattern. It features a strong instrumental break with potent prog stylings, and also a fusionish segment that pretty well screams. This song, with all of its various changes, comes across as a pretty dynamic roller coaster ride of a number.
Living In Fear
Strong fusion/prog elements and in your face drumming begin this cut. It features, in fitting with the name, music that would fit quite well in the soundtrack to a thriller/horror film. All these elements, with a DTish arrangement, makes up the extended introduction to the piece. As it drops into the main section of the song, it becomes more straight-ahead prog metal, still rather Dtish with powerful vocals. There is a piano break which contains a lot of emotion. This potent cut is really very prog oriented with a myriad of style changes. The overall effect is another thrill ride of a number. It is fitting that this cut is the last one on the album, because any other positioning would have proven anti-climatic.
 
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