Dice - Time In Eleven Pictures

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Scene Records
Catalog Number: 4621-3
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:00:00

Their previous album posited the concept What If The Beatles Were From Another Galaxy and included a few Beatles covers in Dice's own spacey way. Time In Eleven Pictures retains a spacey Beatles-esque feel, though there are no Beatles covers or specific Beatles references. It's space rock to be sure, both in subject matter and feel. What you get is a collection of mid-tempo pieces with airy and open arrangements. What seem like "simple" and catchy arrangements on the surface - you can't help but find the music hummable - belie something quite different lying below - shimmery, chimey, soaring and searing guitar leads (Peter Viertel and Christian Nóvé), depending on the needs of the piece; softly chugging organ-like keys (Henry Zschelletzschky); throbbing bass (Dirk Zorn and Nóvé); and lots of drum and cymbal work (Thomas Bunk). Nóvé as lead vocalist has a voice that is hard to pin down. When reviewing What If... I mentioned Clive Nolan and that's sorta it here, too; a bit accented, and not entirely it, but a clue as to what to expect. In fact, I'd say Dice are the mellower, laid-back, space-hippy cousins to Nolan dormant project Shadowland.

While each piece has the same sort of a feel overall, each piece is distinct and has its own vibe. What stands out mostly is their musicianship ... and because the production on this CD is so very clean, almost too clean, in fact, you can hear absolutely everything - every guitar note, every bass note, every snick of the drum, every crash of the cymbals, etc. While the lyrics are important -- written by Nóvé and Dennis Small, they are poetic and somewhat abstract, yet not hard to interpret -- I think most listeners will be drawn to the instruments first; the lyrics just add another layer and context for these spacey excursions, the longest of which is the 11 minute "The Gates of Heaven." "Cloud Freedom," which opens the album, "Life In Space 2133" and "Time Is Always Ending" are the next longest pieces... My favourite aspect to this album are the guitar solos - quite lovely, whether super clean, throaty, or given a bit of distortion.

"Time-Game" is a bit rockier than most other pieces on the album excepting "In Just One Day," which is a little more proggier than other pieces, a little heavier with a bit of distorted guitar... and here we get some mellotron, though that alone isn't what makes it proggier. "Time Is Always Ending" makes me think of the Flower Kings a bit, the Roine Stolt sung pieces.

In between these longer pieces are shorter interludes -- the instrumental "Marimbas In Space (Dreamscene 12)" is a very subtle, dreamy, somewhat moody piece with lots of "spacey" effects (bloops, blips, rings... theremin-like sounds); "The End Of The Game (Dreamscene 13)" is a short 55 seconds of fuzzy keyboards; "Heaven (Dreamscene 14)" is a Gilmour-esque guitar solo (over a bed of keys).

As I mentioned, the part I dig the most is the guitars, but the complete package sounds great, is played great, and makes for entertaining if very low-key album. If you like things fast and furious, then you will find this very much the opposite; and if you like to bliss out on floaty sonicscapes, you will this a little too busy. Ah but, if you want something mellow and laid-back for a heady experience that will make your mind work and body rest, then this is the thing. The thought that just popped into my head? It's an album full of "Across The Universe" and "Blue Jay Way" moods and textures.

Cloud Freedom (7:04) / Time Machine (6:02) / The Gates Of Heaven (11:01) / Life In Space 2133 (7:08) / Marimbas In Space (Dreamscene 12) (1:33) / Time-Game (5:38) / The End Of The Game (Dreamscene 13) (0:55) / In Just One Day (6:30) / Heaven (Dreamscene 14) (2:22) / Time Is Always Ending (8:15) / Time Machine Outro (3:11)

Christian N?v? - lead vocals, guitars, bass, mellotron
Henry Zschelltzschky - keyboards, background vocals
Peter Viertel - guitars
Thomas Bunk - drums

1979-1993 (1996)
Live 1983 - Rauhe Konzerte (1996)
Nightmare (1997)
Space Rock Live (1998)
Silvermoon (1999)
Dreamland (2000)
2001 - Dice In Space (2001)
Waterworld (2002)
Cosmic Prog - Live (2003)
If The Beatles Were From Another Galaxy (2004)
TIME In Eleven Pictures (2005)
Without Vs. Within Part 1 (2006)
Within Vs. Without Next Part (2007)

Cosmic Prog - Live (DVD) (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: October 15th 2005
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.dice-band.de
Hits: 1647
Language: english


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