Dali's Dilemma - Manifesto For Futurism


Year of Release: 1999
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MA-9024-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:30:00

When this was released in the earlier part of 1999, it was met with a lukewarm response.

Chants of "DT clone," "unoriginal", and other cries of anti-freshness pretty much set the tone for the masses and they responded to the negative hype by not hearing or buying the disc en masse.

The surprising part of the negativity was that just about every prog metal band that released a disc this year, or any other year for that matter, was met with those same chants from those same people, and it didn't stop anyone from continuing on with their purchases of same. What this amounts to is that many people did not get to hear this band, and it's a shame because they do have a lot to offer to the prog metal world.

Dali's Dilemma was born from the remnants of Matt Guillory's previous attempt to release a disc under the name Chaos Theory - which we discovered that there were about 7-8 other bands with the same name floating about the world. Chaos Theory was a band that played progressive music the way progressive music should be played - with enough complexity to hold the interest of the picky prog listener, and have enough warmth and melodies injected into the music so as not to lose the listener in cold, sometimes mindless technique. Where Chaos Theory attempted to do this, Dali's Dilemma succeeded.

THE STYLE

I've yet to hear the complete Dream Theater clone that many complained about, the influences are there, but nowhere near the level that was stated so emphatically. Melodically driven by the guitar combination of Patrick Reyes and Matt Guillory, the music is cored by a complex structure of notes and chords while being surrounded by a total sense of melody and warmth. Lots of the melody comes from the vocal lines and vocal style of new singer Matthew Bradley, who sounds more like a hard rock singer than a metal singer, thus giving the music it's catchy hooks. The songs here are all about songs, not the technique or complex skills that the musicians obviously have. Sometimes hard to follow, yet always easy to catch up to, the band fuses a complex, progressive core song structure to melodic hard rock vocal melodies that add up to something completely different than what DT is all about, and giving Dali's Dilemma their own sound and style.

Tempo changes within the songs abound, but never stray from the original time or beat of the song and the listener is brought through each song with a choice of focusing on the playing techniques of the band, or to follow the melodic vocal melodies and lyrical approach of the singer - which I find to be a very interesting approach.

At times, the band does show their skills, but only as an intro to the melodic qualities that follow. For an added special treat, the band gives their best rendition of U2 on track #7 I believe, again showing that the world of prog is not always full of high speed riffing and time changes galore.

THE BAND:

Matthew Bradley / Vocals
Patrick Reyes / Guitars
Jeremy Colson / Drums
Steve Reyes / Bass
Matt Guillory / Keyboards

THE VOCALS:

Matthew Bradley has that melodic hard rock voice I was talking about earlier. If you've ever heard the band Event, and you know the singer Dave Deluco's voice, you know that I've compared his voice to Oni Logan (ex-Lynch Mob). Matt has that same tone and deliverance - melodic, mid-range, and has a natural sound to his voice. He never strays out of his range, and keeps his delivery passionate and effective. His tone is quite the usual approach of high pitched singers in prog metal bands, and his hard rock approach contrasts and complements the progressive music nicely.

THE PRODUCTION:

Clean as a whistle, and natural. Most notably, the vocals are up front, clean, and Matthew's words are easily discernible among the instruments. There is almost a raw feeling to the recording, with very little ( if any ) effects being used. The drums are most natural sounding, not boomy or cardboarded as I like to call it; this is when the snare drum sounds like the drummer is pounding a cardboard box. The drums are nicely recorded and have a natural, pleasant tone and they are placed precisely in the mix.

The guitars a little back in the mix, and do not have a heavy sound. I'm betting that this was intentional to let the vocals shine through the way they do, and also not to give the presence of a "metal" sound to the music. This works well, but you will have to accept this in order to dig what's going on. If you're pure metal head, you'll want to hear this first before buying.

The bass is also just back in the mix a bit, but I think that it's more a preferential taste as I use a subwoofer my head when I read some of the things said in a negative light about it. I can understand if it's not heavy enough, or the song structures are a bit too complex, or that the singer doesn't "fit" the music. These are all taste buds speaking, but there is no denying the talent level of this band. While it's obvious that the band could have easily gone off and created a purely progressive, totally complex, technique laden disc, they opted to write some catchy songs amidst their writing style, and it all added up to a nicely played disc. Well done and recommended.


Tracklisting:
Within A Stare (5:48) / Miracles In Yesteryear (7:09) / Despite The Waves (5:49) / Whispers (2:04) / Ashen Days (5:27) / Andromeda Sunrise (2:00) / This Time Around (4:50) / Hills Of Memory (4:47) / Can't You See (5:15) / Living In Fear (7:41)

Musicians:
Matthew Bradley - vocals
Patrick Reyes - guitars
Jeremy Colson - drums
Steve Reyes - bass
Matt Guillory - keyboards

Discography:
Manifesto For Futurism (1999)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: December 13th 1999
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Hits: 825
Language: english

  

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