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Dice Dice album cover
3.34 | 53 ratings | 9 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Alea lacta est (6:13)
2. Annika (3:47)
3. The utopian suntan (5:51)
4. The Venetian bargain (7:49)
5. Follies: (22:03)
a) Esther
b) Labyrinth
c) At the gate of Entrudivore
d) I'm Entrudivorian
e) You are?
f) You are.....

Total Time: 45:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Per Andersson / drums, percussion, chorus
- Robert Holmin / lead vocals, saxes, chorus
- Leif Larsson / keyboards, Mellotron, chorus
- Örjan Strandberg / guitars, chorus
- Fredrik Vildö / bass, chorus

Releases information

CD Belle Antique 8906 (1989)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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DICE Dice ratings distribution

(53 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

DICE Dice reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
3 stars Well this issue-dated 1978- was a controversial work, characterized by some splendid moments in the vein of "Four Riders of the Apocalypse", as well as by boring passages and also such weak vocal parts. Despite of these defects, this album is quite remarkable and finally recommended.

It is inferior than "Four Riders of the Apocalypse", but anyway it can complete your collection of such North European symphonic progressive rock of late seventies!!

Review by b_olariu
3 stars As it said in this two reveiws from above i'm agree that is not a bad album but made in rush, it sounds sometime unfinished. Indeed there is some good moments but are some who sound really bad like The venetian bargain, boring and repetative. Alea lacta est is the best track and maybe the most well played, the rest is not so bad but neither something special. 3 stars, could it be a better one if they worked harder, in fact this is the second album, and by the second album every band has to create their own style , in my opinion.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This was disappointing after enjoying their all-instrumental "Four Riders Of The Apocalypse" so much. The vocals are tolerable most of the time but they aren't that great. You can kind of see how this has more of a commercial direction compared to "Four Riders Of The Apocalypse" which is really it's downfall.

"Alea Lacta Est" is an uptempo track with lots of organ, drums and tasteful guitar. Pulsating synths. Vocals don't arrive until 3 minutes in, but it's the instrumental work that shines on this one. Very good song. "Annika" is an instrumental and perhaps my favourite track on here.The guitar and organ build in sound as drums come in. Piano 3 minutes in. "The Utopian Suntan" is a humerous look at the depletion of the ozone layer and the result of too much exposure to ultra violet rays. This really sounds like some of the silly songs QUEEN has recorded, you know the ones that sound like they are from the thirties. This especially sounds like that vocally. "The Venetian Garden" is an instrumental with some mellotron before 2 minutes. Piano is prominant.

"Follies" is the side long suite coming in at 22 minutes. The topic on this one is schizophrenia. I found the vocals really took away from the enjoyment of this song. Some nice guitar before 4 minutes followed by organ. Vocals are back. A good uptempo section comes in around the 6 minute mark with better sounding vocals. There is a piano solo with mellotron after 9 minutes. Vocal melodies and guitar after 14 minutes are good, and I really like the symphonic passage that follows after 15 minutes. The vocal section after 17 minutes is lacking a lot. Mellotron 19 minutes in. The last 2 minutes of the song I find annoying.

Some very good sections with unfortunately a lot of poor passages. Barely 3 stars in my opinion. Please check out their "Four Horses Of The Apocalypse" though.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Not achieving to sign a contract with a label, Dice started rehearsing on new compositions, but now they had also added singer Robert Holmin to the line-up.Eventually the band signed with the obscure label Marilla to release their self-titled debut in 1978.

Very much influenced by compatriots KAIPA as well as FOCUS, GENESIS and YES,Dice offer some excellent Symphonic Rock arrangements often with a humurous edge but far from something trully personal.The compositions are quite grandiose, based on Larsson's talented keyboard playing,including mellotron,organ,piano and synths, and Strandberg sensitive guitar playing,sometimes though reminding also of STEVE HOWE's nervous approach.At moments they even flirt with the complex nature of GENTLE GIANT or even YEZDA URFA with sudden breaks and unusual changing themes with complicated keyboard parts on the forefront.The band decided to hire a vocalist in order to make their sound more accesible,but I do not see any signs of accesibility in here.The whole material is definitely far from commercial with complex time signatures and changing moods in a blink of an eye.The highlight is of course the 22-min. exciting suite ''Follies'',actually pieces of music written between 1972-1975 and stuck nicely together to deliver this grand opus.Classical-influenced pianos, romantic flashy moog synthesizers, warm electric guitars, orchestral mellotron passages and some schizophenic fast interplays offer a great Symphonic Rock experience,spoiled only by the mediocre vocal exercises of Holmin.

Another fine work of the Symphonic Rock scene of Sweden along the lines of KAIPA, ATLAS, BLAKULLA and AUTUMN BREEZE.Complex musicianship, sensitive passages, bombastic moments but little originality.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Other than being a wonderful set of music, it is the "unfinished" quality of Dice's first that makes it so good and so unlike much of the over-groomed product that was coming from the Scandinavian prog scene. In fact it reminds me more of the raw excitement in the tiny but edgy U.S. scene around the same time; think Yezda Urfa, Cartoon, et al. Sure Robert Holmin's vocals are subpar and they're playing with the urgency of a band on a very tight studio schedule and small budget, but that doesn't mean this ain't prog rock of the utmost ambition and sincerity. The compositions are developed beyond the call of duty, the group dynamics are solid, and the fun but serious attitude is just right. For a debut, the quintet did a marvelous job.

A roll of the bones crackles open 'Alea lacta Est' crammed full of sudden but perfect changes as the band keeps us guessing, finally settling on a narrative about war, peace and politics. But the music, not the message, is the centerpiece, sloppy mistakes and all. Bass player Fredrik Vildo is extraordinary and Leif Larsson's keys provide gorgeous layers of texture and emotion as on 'Annika', with Orjan Strandberg's muti-tracked guitars filling in space with volume swells and chiming harmonies, even funny 'The Utopian Suntan' has room for great elaboration. And I suspect 'The Venetian Bargain', though resembling Yes, in turn had an impact on the very band it was emulating. Listen to this cut with Yes' Drama in mind ~ an album that came out two years later ~ and you'll hear what I mean. It is a beautiful track and the disc finishes with twenty-two minute operetta 'Follies', a baroque-rock epic lush with synths and the inspiration of a great, great musical unit.

If you ever see this one at a good price, nab it. Someday you'll be glad you did. At least I hope so.

Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars Of all the great progressive bands to come out of the fertile soil of the 70's not many were swedish. But the great that did come from Sweden were amazing. Kaipa, Trettioåriga kriget, Samla Mammas Manna are some names that ought to be familiar to a lot of prog heads. There is one name I'd like to add to the list: Dice.

The Disney-like logo and the Dali-type cover might raise some eyebrows, wondering what the hell is going on. Well, quite alot. Listening to this album you hear echoes of other bands from the 70's. Yes, Cathedral, England, Gentle Giant... But that's allright. How could you not be influenced by other bands?

I really had no real knowledge of Dice before buying this album. I knew of them but not not their music. So, was I intrigued? Amused? Disgusted? First and foremost I was delighted. And still am. The music is very delightful, playful and enjoyable. Symphonic, epic, complex and very much sporting a peculiar swedish nature, which is clearly audible in the beatiful "Annika".

There are many things that endears me to this album. The rumbling Squire-bass, the addition of the roaring 20's (The utopian suntan), the thick keyboards and, if nothing else, the sheer length and brilliance of "Follies", the center piece of the album.

I think that this album really deserved more back in the day but coming out in a time dominated by other scenes than prog it wasn't, perhaps, surprising why it sank without a trace, It sounds as a part of the glorious past but provides a glimpse into the ever present brilliance of bands and musicians, forming a link between then and now. It's a great album and I enjoy it immensely.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Walt Disney Symphonic Prog Dice. A balanced mix of Yes and Gentle Giant for my ears. A skillfull hard listening swedish band, interesting, but lacking originality. This debut album is weaker than the next one, the Four Horses Of The Apocalypse, an instrumental album released . Yes, the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1057061) | Posted by VOTOMS | Wednesday, October 9, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The album Dice featured a decent but somewhat distracting vocalist, but is a little more polished than The Four Riders. There's still the same mix between upbeat major-key ditties, lush symphonic epics, and dissonant ostinatos. All of the tracks are very strong, but I find the instrumental brea ... (read more)

Report this review (#170726) | Posted by emkogceo | Monday, May 12, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is indeed a controversial album as said by Lethe. In spite of what has been said, I still consider this a fine album. The first songs does have some poor vocals, but it's a nice song with some fine syntheziers. The second song is instrumental. The third song has a fine vocals, in my opini ... (read more)

Report this review (#60433) | Posted by Dan Yaron | Thursday, December 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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