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DANTE

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Dante picture
Dante biography
Dante is a progressive metal band from Germany originated in 2006 by Markus Maichel (keyboards) and Markus Berger (guitar). Around 2005, both longtime friends decided to do sessions on Berger's own studio. Liking what they had recorded they decided to form a full band, so Alexander Göhs, vocalist of Berger's previous band Twelve was asked to join the recording session to see if he could be interested in their music. He joined Dante soon afterward as a regular member. The band was later joined by drummer Christian Eichlinger who had the same vision of progressive rock as the other members of the band.

In 2007 the band decided to start working on their debut album entitled The Inner Circle. The album was self released around 2007 and it managed to acquire great reviews and acceptance amongst fans of the genre. Dante takes influence from bands such as Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Neal Morse and early works of Genesis.

Highly recommended for fans of the genre!

- Sebastian Maldonado (burritounit) -



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Approved by the Progressive Metal Team




Discography:
The Inner Circle, studio album (2007)
...

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DANTE discography


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DANTE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 14 ratings
The Inner Circle
2007
3.89 | 23 ratings
Saturnine
2010
3.93 | 26 ratings
November Red
2013
3.85 | 19 ratings
When We Were Beautiful
2016
4.00 | 1 ratings
Winter
2022

DANTE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 5 ratings
Where Life Was Beautiful
2017

DANTE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DANTE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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DANTE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 November Red by DANTE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 26 ratings

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November Red
Dante Progressive Metal

Review by nick_h_nz
Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars [Originally published at The Progressive Aspect]

Around 18:00 on Tuesday 4th January 2022, the German band Dante posted on Facebook to mark the ninth anniversary of the death of co-founder, Markus Berger. As Markus Maichel points out in that post, probably all who have followed the band over the years will know that the last album Berger made with Dante was November Red, and that he died just a couple of weeks before the album's release in 2013.

"One of the last songs I wrote with him was the song Shores of Time, and although it was written before any of us knew about his condition (as far as I remember), in his final months (when he couldn't be an active part of the band anymore and we prepared the release without him), the song lyrically and thematically seemed very linked to him and his situation ? which was basically the main reason that we did not play that song live very often."

It would seem that a year or so after the release, Dante considered shaking up their live setlist, and rearranging some songs:

"So, beside other things, we did a piano version of Shores of Time, and did a quick demo recording, with the idea to play that instead of the 'usual suspect ballads' ? and as kind of an homage to Berger in the live set. As it turned out, we never played it live, and the song was put away."

With 2022 being a new year, and a new start for Dante with a new album scheduled for release (not including a live album, only the second Dante album since November Red), on this anniversary of Markus Berger's death the band thought it might finally be a good and fitting time to share this "new" piano version.

"As stated above, all we ever did back then was a quick and rough demo recording of the song and we didn't have the time to properly re-record everything, so I just polished and properly mixed what was there ? so it is what it is?

So here's to you, Markus ? see you someday on the shores of time!"

?//?

I once posted some words about November Red, and the original album version of Shores of Time, myself ? back in 2016. I had enjoyed Dante's music since discovering their second album, Saturnine, but hadn't listened to the band in a while, despite the fact they had a (then) new album out. Sadly, what put them back in my playlist, was the death of Piotr Grudzinski, from Riverside, at the early age of 40.

As aforementioned, November Red was released soon after the death of Markus Berger, Dante's co-founder, bassist, guitarist and producer. Like Piotr, Markus also died far too early at age 40. In fact, until Piotr's death, I was unaware Dante had even recorded a new album. It was only after listening to November Red again, that I looked for Dante's Facebook page, and found the posts for When We Were Beautiful.

Here is what I wrote then, six years ago, about an album released three years earlier:

?//?

Dante are definitely one of the many prog-metal bands playing in the vein of Dream Theater - a description that will immediately put many people off. However, they are no Dream Theater clones. I've heard many of those, and never liked any enough to want to continue listening - let alone purchase their albums. There is definitely enough originality in Dante to take them further than Dream Theater comparisons, and warrant them worth taking notice of. I actually don't think they are derivative of Dream Theater at all, and while that band might be an influence, their sound is not particularly replicated by Dante in any noticeable way.

For argument's sake, if I were to make Dream Theater comparisons, I guess it would be to the Images and Words and Awake phase of the band, and that phase only. That is to say, the years that Kevin Moore was in the band. At times the keyboards are reminiscent of Moore's playing, though still sufficiently different to maintain interest. When it comes down to it, I'd actually say that Dante remind me as much, if not more, of Swedish band Wolverine than they do of Dream Theater - and I've never heard anyone make DT comparisons to Wolverine!

As much as I like all the tracks on November Red, I can never quite wait to get to the third track. I've never skipped a track, but the anticipation is always great. I'm unsure if it is intentional, but I love the way the album peaks in the middle, rather than the final moments. It's a brave trick, because when you climax so magnificently so early, interest could so easily be lost. But Dante play it out superbly. So, the first two tracks of November Red might be great, but for me they are simply a lead into my favourite tracks on the album. Beautifully Broken and The Day That Bled easily show best the two sides of Dante, and in the former also show (for me) how they far surpass any comparisons to Dream Theater.

Dante can perform delicate, haunting and beautiful ballads in a way Dream Theater have never been able to. Somehow (with the sole exception of the wonderful Space-Dye Vest) Dream Theater always manage to pile on cheese and corn, often resulting in a track I end up skipping. I could never skip Beautifully Broken though. And although my heart fell when I first heard The Day That Bled, because the song has the most Dream Theater sound I've ever heard from Dante (thanks to the opening riff), it quickly becomes a showpiece for the band, showing how much stronger Alexander Göhs' vocals are than James LaBrie's. (Yes, some might say that's not saying much, but I happen to like LaBrie's vocals.) The guitar work is amazing at times, and there are some great keyboard lines, too, even if they do sometimes cross the Dream Theater line.

Shores of Time then manages to take the best of both the preceding tracks, and blends them into a quite spectacular meld of heavy and dissonant (The Day That Bled) and quiet and beautiful (Beautifully Broken). Again, Alexander Göhs impresses, transitioning from powerful to gentle, without losing emotional intensity. This is a great track! The album has peaked. But that doesn't mean the comedown is not an enjoyable one. Allan is more subtle and melancholic, but no less grand, and though it starts quietly, it develops gradually and its beginning definitely belies its end. And finally we reach the title track, and a return to the sublime balancing act between heaviness and fragility, power and beauty, that was shown in The Day That Bled. It's a masterful close to a wonderfully sequenced album.

RIP Markus Berger

 The Inner Circle by DANTE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.02 | 14 ratings

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The Inner Circle
Dante Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars It has become common for prog revivalists nowadays to show off on their first album just how proggy they can be. And so Dante bookends The Inner Circle with a 10-minute and a 19-minute song and stuffs the middle with a couple of 9- minuters. But they are seasoned musicians and hit the right buttons with hummable melodies, numerous change-ups and long instrumental sections. The thing that doesn't yet work for them, I think, is the "requisite" 20-minute epic, as it is somewhat incohesive. Dante doesn't break any new ground, but what is distinctive of them is their love for classic prog and 70s hard rock with their penchant for retro-sounding synths and that gruffy earnest voice.
 When We Were Beautiful by DANTE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 19 ratings

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When We Were Beautiful
Dante Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Dante's fourth album in 10 years is probably the band's most diverse, complex and modern-sounding record to date, at various times channeling the technicality of Dream Theater, emotiveness of Pain of Salvation, an unexpected jazziness or just a metal version of Kansas. When Dante goes for the attack, the sound is loud and thick, and the longer songs seldom repeat themselves, which was a trait common to, say, the Saturnine album. What's also interesting of the band is that they're not tame to switch between melodic and more abrasive sections, depending on the mood. Which is frequently dour, considering they lost the founding member Markus Berger.
 Saturnine by DANTE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 23 ratings

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Saturnine
Dante Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Dante's songs on Saturnine may be long, but they are not complicated by prog metal standards, built on repeated, but catchy melodies and instrumental jams. Despite the name-dropping of "scarsick" and "images and words" in the lyrics, Dante's style of metal is rooted in the 70s, with its gruff-toned vocals, vintage-sounding organ runs and deep rumbling grooves. Looks like music that would be organic in a live setting, as Dante's brand of prog doesn't seem to be as dependent on studio trickery as some of their peers. The album is about 60-40 percent divided between heavier and lighter parts, and features, in addition to heavy rockers, two piano ballads, a fusion-inspired instrumental and, continuing the tradition of their debut album, a 19-minute epic.
 November Red by DANTE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 26 ratings

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November Red
Dante Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars If the name Dante brings to mind a bombastic power metal band like Symphony X or Rhapsody (of Fire), that would be like judging a book by its cover. These Germans do write 10-minute catchy heavy songs with several lead motifs, having evidently been listening to a lot of Dream Theater, but the overall sound is more akin to a 70's groovy hard rock band that likes to jam and occasionally settles down with a piano. Further adding to this impression is the gritty production, retro-sounding keys and gruff-toned vocals. That great modern prog scourge hasn't passed them by, though - the spoken word samples inserted into middle of songs.
 Where Life Was Beautiful by DANTE album cover Live, 2017
4.07 | 5 ratings

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Where Life Was Beautiful
Dante Progressive Metal

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars Magnificent LIVE prog metal album from one of the best German bands!It's trully sensational under all aspects ,and shows the magic of this pretentious musical genre,which gets new expressions when it's performed live!Great quality of the band performance indeed and super high quality of the footage on the DVD!Slowly,slowly DANTE managed to build a good image of the band in the last years,they seem to find their identity and the compositions are more and more mature and elaborated!The whole pack is amazing -a gorgeous triple digipack album,with 2 audio cd's and the DVD ,I repeat,everything looks stunning!Definitelly,this albums shows the unbelieveble technical capacities of the band,but also their skills to be very emotional live and tho transmit to the audience their unique message!4.5 stars without any hesitation and a sincere bravo to the guys!
 When We Were Beautiful by DANTE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 19 ratings

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When We Were Beautiful
Dante Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band DANTE was formed back in 2006, initially as a project formed by the band members Markus Berger and Markus Maichel, but slowly expanded to become a full-fledged band. They self-released their debut album "The Inner Circle" in 2007, and have continued releasing new albums at a steady pace ever since, in addition to being a fairly active live unit. "When We Were Beautiful" is their fourth studio album, and was released through the German label Gentle Art of Music in 2016.

Those who have followed the German band Dante over the years should find "When We Were Beautiful" to be a fine addition to their album history. Well made progressive metal working out from a foundation that generally can be described as a one closely aligned with early '90s Dream Theater, this is a style and type of progressive metal that has a wide general appeal, and this album merits a check by those with an affection for this specific take on progressive metal.

 November Red by DANTE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 26 ratings

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November Red
Dante Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Dante is one of the better progressive metal bands from Germany in last years with 3 albums in their pockets. The latest one, the third release issued this year 2013 and named November red is another worthy one from their catalogue, in fact is in same league with previous two both in manner of composing or attitude. Dante keeping the same atmosphere and regular catchy songs here. No groundbreaking moments here, but the music and overall sound is more then profesional and well performed. I like this type of prog metal with melodic lines combined with crunchy guitars and complicated passages. The album has a little over an hour of music , but manage to capture my attention entirely , specially on instrumental passages whre the keys and rhytmic section shines truly. What I like to this band, one of the most promising prog metal bands from newer generation is that they keep the same attitude on every album, they didn't become more heavier just to please more listners, but aswell they didn't become softer to catch a wider auditorium, they remain faithfull to their starting point, making good music and be honest all the time. Birds of Passage, the opening track is killer brilliant guitar riffing and solid druming and very deep bass lines, the last tune is aswell excellent November Red. All in all a band that is very unnoticed in prog metal circles, to me Dante is among the best this genre has to offer. 4 stars, great art work aswell.

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 Saturnine by DANTE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 23 ratings

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Saturnine
Dante Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars With Saturnine we're served the second effort from talented German prog metal band Dante, and while not quite as impressive as their initial effort it is a well made production that should please fans of the genre.

The main characteristic trait of this album is variation. The longer compositions in particular move from sound to sound and atmosphere to atmosphere constantly, and it will take many runs through the album just to get familiar with it. The richness in textures, arrangements and motifs should keep the avid listener busy for weeks on end. Another trait peculiar to this creation is the downtuned guitar sound, distorted to the point of almost sounding electronic at times.

Apart from that, progressive metal of a Dream Theater inspired school is the name of the game here, but sans the emphasis on instrumental virtuosity and mostly residing within a low to midpaced structure. There aren't too many challenging features overall, rich arrangements contrasted with parts more sparsely crafted instrumentation wise one of few effects of a more sophisticated nature that's showcased.

All in all a solid, well made and well produced affair.

 Saturnine by DANTE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 23 ratings

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Saturnine
Dante Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Second album of this intristing band from Germany , is another worthy experience in prog metal field. Named Saturnine from 2010, released not long time ago, in march , Dante keeping the same atmosphere and regular catchy songs like on previous one. They beggind with right foot with the debute who was a very solid album, and continue in same manner, excellent musicianship and good pieces. The album has a little over an hour of music , but manage to capture my attention entirely , specially on instrumental passages whre the keys and rhytmic section shines truly. What I like to this band, one of the most promising prog metal bands from new generation is that they keep the same attitude, they didn't become more heavier just to please more listners, but aswell they didn't become softer to cath a wider auditorium, they remain faithfull to their belifes, making good music and be honest all the time. Some tracks that worth mentioning here are, Never Return - with excellent intro, brilliant guitar riffing and solid druming and the instrumental Modal Acousma , the rest are ok, not really fantastic, little less intristing than before, but ok. I've notice the deep bass line made by Dennis Neumeier, who sounds crunchy and damn good was one of the highlights of the album, the voice sounds good, but in some parts is a monotonous. So a fairly good album, 3.5 rounded to 4, because I like this band how sounds, even in places the DT similarities is obvious. Good band , good album, but I prefere the first one.
Thanks to burritounit for the artist addition.

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