Dial - Synchronized

Year of Release: 2006
Label: ProgRock Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

From its originating notes, this was not at all what I expected. At first, the clinks and clangs sounded closer to The Art of Noise than a Pain of Salvation offshoot. Then I was ambushed by a female voice.

This is not to say I didn't like the odd effects or effeminate tones. To the contrary, I was immediately intrigued by this malleable substance. It appeared to be a transmogrification of Pain of Salvation intently knitted with a modest hint of Evanescence. To further groom the sweater, it was honed with a husky yarn of Paatos sown into its burly canvas.

With Kristoffer Gildenl?w on the roster, I expected his brother Daniel to chime in. Alas, this never happened; yet, a male voice with similar intonations eventually surfaced. For the record, Kristoffer was one of two leads, which explains this tantric texture. Liselotte 'Lilo' Hegt (ex-Cirrah Niva) was the other cantor. This awesome twosome traded off between numbers like singers in a musical or crochet needles in a cross-stitched pattern.

Like the Bill of Rights or the Constitution, this album works as a single comprehensive unit. It would be hard to alter the synopsis or correct the clincher without ruining the overall meaning, feel, or fabric. Accordingly, the undulations and smooth-flowing cadence heave along in a pretty consistent manner. For that reason, it's difficult to focus in, dissect, or pick this fleshy peach apart.

Nevertheless, I am compelled to provide song-specific commentary on four distinct tracks:

"Sadness" is a hybrid cross-pollinated between Pain of Salvation and Porcupine Tree. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that Steven Wilson and Daniel Gildenlöw were commissioned for the order.

On a separate chute, "Candyland" could have been an unreleased submission from Queen's Night At The Opera. This unique song is the only one that features a sousaphone and a soprano. The instruments, provided by Joy de Jong and Eugenia Lackey, are so elegant; it would make the hairs on the neck of Cassello, Esperian, and Lawrence stand up. You could say the only way Tony and Carmella could be deemed rhythmically untouchable would be if they were whisked away by the witness protection program overnight.

Incidentally, Devon Graves doubles as a special guest and assistant producer. In "Wish It Away" he incorporates additional guitars amid his sad and somber vocals. In addition, the album was recorded at his studio, the Dead Soul Temple, between June 2006 and February 2007. Like Sergeant Bosco Baracus and Colonel Hannibal, Graves and Gildenl?w do the mixing as if they were an elite A-Team for hire.

Lastly, "Childhood Dreams" includes a sobering dialogue not too unlike the introspective thoughts interweaved into the leaves of Salem Hill's or Pain of Salvation's Be. The verses incorporate clever poetry such as "What if we could sail the seven seas in a blue bathtub? Shoot the Caribbean pirates off with a water pistol and still be home in time for dinner as mom is calling from the kitchen."

You may not find these lines recited by a disoriented Johnny Depp lost adrift the morbid depths of Davy Jones' Locker. Still, it requires a vast imagination inline with Gore Verbinski.

Other than that, the patterns and qualities in these songs are cut from much of the same prosaic material. It's as if something less drab swallowed a very serious dose of Prozac.

Through the grapevine, I heard it mentioned that this was heavy stuff kneaded in a thicker crust. To set the record straight, it actually seems lurid. Gildenl?w's bass is much kinder than the slamming riffs he's banged away in the past. Plus, the keyboards that he and Hegt contribute are soaked in a sweaty glow of progressive perspiration. It's worth mention that Gildenl?w supplies other guitars, a mandolin and a cello, while Rommert van der Meer is the lead guitarist. Various drums and sparse percussions are sporadically entered into the terminal by Dirk Bruinenberg. The number-crunching is more significant than the Dharma initiatives random series of digits.

With many talented musicians and two great singers - not to mention a special process professionally-managed by skilled practitioners in an immaculate factory - it's essential enough to try out. From the standpoint of the whole loaf, it's not the best baked good since slice bread, but it's not all that bad either. No tracks were weak; none were really highlights. At best case you could probably say that there is a slight improvement as it progresses further from the artful and noisy thumps rendered at its commencement. Regardless, when the oven bell rang, I was more or less happy with the results.

Simply put, Synchronized is a suitable debut worthy of a checkout from the cart or at least an impulsive peek inside the gift shop.

Green Knees / Wish it Away / Beautiful / Natures Cruelty / Hello / Jewel / Candyland / Childhood Dreams / Points of View / Sadness / Wounded

Liselotte Hegt - vocals, bass, keyboards
Rommert Van Der Meer - electric and acoustic guitars
Kristoffer Gildenl?w - basses, guitars, vocals, keyboards, double bass, cello, mandolin

Dirk Bruinenberg - drums and percussion
Devon Graves - vocals, electric guitar
Eugenia Lackey - choir

Synchronized (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NO

Added: July 18th 2007
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website: www.myspace.com/thebanddial
Hits: 2297
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]