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Dice - Silvermoon CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.09 | 16 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Christian Nove decided in the mid 1990s to take the space rock of DICE to the studio after years as a live-only act, and "Silvermoon" is the second harvest of that happy event. DICE music does not take multiple listens to appreciate, but it does take more than one, and it stands up to repeat processing remarkably well given its accessibility. "Silvermoon" provides the blueprint for the subsequent few albums into the new millenium.

The one track that is of instant appeal is the moving "Another Day" and its closely related band jam "Another Instrumental Day". It begins in ambient fashion with Nove reflecting on his neuroses in a disjointed and perhaps deliberately awkward manner, but at 1:35 becomes the DICE anthem, thanks to much soaring and heartfelt vocals, scintillating keyboard accompaniment, and, when required, Thomas Jager's finest guitar leads. All the while it is Nove's vulnerable lyrics and the boundless melody that propel the track into the listener's soul. The decision to reprise instrumentally at the end results in further concretization of the group vision and a focus on the simple joy in the music.

Another big surprise is the opener and title cut which has aspects of the folk song, albeit a spacey one, in that it presents as a sprawling narrative, but unlike many folk songs, provides plenty of engaging arrangements along the way, as well as amplified sections. While musically the song is in line with DICE, the storytelling aspect is somewhat unique in their oeuvre. "The Bird" is the other epic, and is almost entirely instrumental, with a somewhat ELOY styled atmospheric keyboard sound before becoming a further vehicle for Jager's guitars. The lush acoustic guitar backing for much of these leads is a pleasant touch, and the echoes of CAMEL are shimmering just below the surface. I enjoy the DICE model of relaxed extended near-improvisation showcased here, without regard to song structure conventions.

Even if the remaining tracks (excepting the freak-out "Croon", which does have its moments), while competent, are somewhat more conventional and less suffused with conviction and enthusiasm, this moon shines at least at waxing gibbous level, which is bright enough for 4 stars.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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