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DICE

Crossover Prog • Germany


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Dice biography
Based on the dates of 90% of their output and their self-classification as "cosmic prog", DICE would seem to be a new generation German space rock band, albeit in the mold of veterans like ELOY, PINK FLOYD, and even HAWKWIND, but in some sense they were almost contemporaries. The group was formed in 1974, with founder and leader Christian Nove also citing JETHRO TULL and WIGWAM as favourites. However, it was not until 1979 that they released their debut album which included Alto Pappert from KRAAN on saxophone. The 80s and early 90s were quiet other than for live performances.


The group, by then based in Leipzig, became a prolific producer of studio and live albums in 1997 and have been actively releasing quality product since, mostly on their own label SCENE records. Their stock in trade is highly melodic and song oriented space rock, with little of the depressive aspect of some of the earlier groups on which the sound is based. While DICE music is laden with hooks, plenty of time is allocated for solos and jams, allowing for appreciation across the spectrum of fans from symphonic to crossover to neo and psychedelic.


DICE is a welcome addition to progarchives for their ability to establish a niche in the current scene and prove that melodic and generally space rock can still thrive in Germany and provide enjoyment around the world.

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DICE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.07 | 8 ratings
Nightmare
1997
3.82 | 9 ratings
Silvermoon
1999
4.00 | 8 ratings
Dreamland
2000
3.97 | 10 ratings
Dice in Space
2001
3.93 | 9 ratings
Waterworld
2002
3.17 | 6 ratings
If the Beatles were From Another Galaxy
2004
2.41 | 10 ratings
Time in Eleven Pictures
2005
3.25 | 13 ratings
Without vs. Within Pt. 1
2006
4.00 | 15 ratings
Within vs. Without Next Part
2007
3.98 | 20 ratings
Versus Without Versus - End Part
2009
3.66 | 47 ratings
Eternity's Ocean
2010
3.39 | 19 ratings
Newborn
2011
2.68 | 15 ratings
Comet Highway
2012
3.36 | 11 ratings
Para-Dice
2013
3.36 | 11 ratings
Twentaurus
2014

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

5.00 | 2 ratings
Live 1983 - Rauhe Konzerte"
1983
3.75 | 4 ratings
Space-Rock live
1998
5.00 | 2 ratings
Cosmic Prog Live At The Theatron - Munich
2003
4.33 | 6 ratings
The Torgau Show
2008

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
Cosmic Prog In Concert (At The Theatron - Munich)
2003
4.50 | 2 ratings
A Long Cosmic Trip
2008

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

1.50 | 2 ratings
Dice 1979-1993
1996

DICE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

DICE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nightmare by DICE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.07 | 8 ratings

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Nightmare
Dice Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars With the a revived Dice and after many live appearances the next step for Christian Nove was to put again his band on the map with an official studio album.Nove appears to be the only link with the old Dice, the fresh line-up featured now Thomas Bunk on drums, Thomas Jager on guitar and Henry Zschelletzschy on keyboards/vocals with Nove performing on bass and vocals.''Nightmare'' was the title of a work, the recordings of which come from 94' and 96' rehearsals at Tonstudio Herchenbach in Leipzig.The album was released in 1997 on Scene Records.

Again the very tight links of Dice with Classic Prog are not apparent with the group sounding basically like a cross between ROXY MUSIC, JAPAN and DAVID BOWIE, offering something that sounds like a mix of Art Rock and Post-New Wave.Another good comparison would be GROBSCHNITT during their fading days.However ''Nightmare'' is not a bad album.It sounds often as a genuine work full of inspired atmospheric explorations, great British-styled vocals, artistic elements and interesting guitar parts, passing from Neo Prog to Art Pop to New Wave with comfort.A couple of pieces with dominant organ parts and extended synths sound like German symph-oriented acts of the 80's, but the bulk of ''Nightmare'' is atmospheric New Wave-styled Rock with emphasis on the spacey yet melodic guitar work, the marching drumming and the poppy vocals.Use of distortions and light effects strengthen the fact that Dice reputedly old stylings are gone for good and the band pushed their sound a step further.Compatriots GREEN WAVE are a good reference at this point.A mix of 80's, contemporary and vintage echoes in a charming and well-composed collection of memorable songs.

Not for the dedicated Classic Prog fan.An excellent album though for fans of Art Rock with New Wave aesthetics and anyone with open ears.Recommended.

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 Dice 1979-1993 by DICE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
1.50 | 2 ratings

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Dice 1979-1993
Dice Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

1 stars Originating from Guetersloh, Germany, Dice were found in 1974 and led by multi-instrumentalist/singer Christian Nove, while their early line-up included some very important names such as bassist Frank Fischer of Puppenhaus and Release Music Orchestra, keyboardist George Kochbek of Skyline and ES fame and drummer Mickie Stickdorn, a member of Cyklus.A self-titled LP from 1979 and a live album from 1983, today both are collector's items, were the band's opening releases, after which a long hiatus followed.In early-90's Nove moved to Leipzig and reformed Dice as a live band.In 1993 a CD entitled ''Dice 1979-1993'' appeared as a private press, containing material from the band's early albums and recent years.

According to Nove, Dice were initially formed as a pure Progressive Rock group, but this not really obvious listening to this compilation.The first half of the album has nothing to do with the genre, being an incosistent mix of straight Melodic Rock, uninteresting Funk, cliche Blues Rock and pale Synth/Pop Rock with a few good melodies, if you like these styles, but a very flat and often amateur sound, characterized by poor inspiration and a mediocre recording quality.The only interesting cut seems to be the Garage/Psych-influenced ''Away'', which is at least decent.The second part of the album represents more or less moments from the band's first and very rare LP, things become here a bit better but very far from an even average level.Tracks like ''Sunday performance'', '' Every evening has an end'' or ''You caught me hard'' have slight but evident Psych/Kraut Rock influences with accented vocals but also some nice grooves and guitar solos along with the presence of Hammond organ, but the rest of the pieces range from boring to even dreadful, you can find everything in here, from Reggae and Funk to Pop and 80's Rock.Awful and absolutely commercial material of the worst inspiration.

To reinvent Dice was a clever move by Christian Nóvé, because the early years of the group were consumed towards accesible music with very few to zero true offerings to a demanding listener.This compilation holds some interest only for historical reasons and it is very far from even being questionably recommended...1.5 stars.

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 Comet Highway by DICE album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.68 | 15 ratings

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Comet Highway
Dice Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars Perhaps it's the pressure, self-inflicted or otherwise, of the album-a-year release schedule. Perhaps it's the demands of songwriting and touring. Perhaps it's the blind insistence on 10+ minute tracks for 6 minute ideas. Perhaps it's the logical culmination of progressively weakening albums since the knot was tied on the "Within/Without Trilogy". While the DICE sound has essentially remained intact, the group has abandoned its commitment to the song in favor of a "PHISH" in space approach. When it works, it is glorious, as in "Every Open Window" with its compelling combination of melodic themes and space jam. But more often than not this effort just sounds bloated, the awkwardness of the group's reference to the Universe as entity, which we overlooked until now, fully exposed by ennui, as we wait desperately and in vain for a trademark hook. The dense and multilayered DICE remains, which works for as long as you want background music that sounds progressive enough in the car, but if you crave more than the superficial, you should pull off the "Comet HIghway" and load up almost any of their earlier efforts.

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 Newborn by DICE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.39 | 19 ratings

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Newborn
Dice Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Cosmic rockers DICE are virtually always good for a pleasant listen or 100. their prolific nature in the face of what must be a modest audience is laudatory, almost as if the group carries on as a project as much for the fans as for themselves. The last few releases have eschewed variable song lengths in favor of consistently extended pieces, perhaps in an effort to appeal to progressive fans who presumably constitute the lion's share of their base. They have also added flutes and saxes in an attempt to stave off predictability and stagnation.

On "Newborn", their 2011 offering, the commitment remains the same, notwithstanding a few very welcome and hypnotic keyboard passages. The vocal melodies continue to veer towards the type of AOR that we wish we could get out of our heads, particularly in the choruses of "Dancing with All Gods" and "Crying Angels", the weakest numbers here, and it's all a bit too languid too often. However, most of the remaining tracks like "Tomorrow's World" and "the Future is Still Waiting", while far from earth shattering, do more than survive on the goodwill of previous albums, and might serve as entry points to the group's expansive new agey meets PINK FLOYD approach. In fact, "On the Way", in spite of the aforementioned shortcomings, possesses a riveting outtro, all the more impressively so for its minimalistic keyboard melody and woodwind accompaniment.

While I yearn for the enthusiasm and energy of "Waterworld" or the emotion of "Within vs Without", if you seek to become a newborn fan of the group, almost any role of the DICE will do just fine.

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 Eternity's Ocean by DICE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.66 | 47 ratings

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Eternity's Ocean
Dice Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars I have listened to this even more than most of the DICE albums I have devoured in the last 3 or so years, perhaps because it is becoming harder than ever to characterize their sound, even as it occupies the same bathymetric range as their umpteen previous releases, and moves at about the same warp speed. The DICE stock in trade remains elaborate, if not intricate, melodic progressive rock with a song orientation but lengthy track lengths that allow for extensive soloing and ensemble work.

Chronologically, "Eternity's Ocean" slots in right after the "Without/Within Trilogy", and picks up where the final installment left us, extending the freedoms of Jens Lübeck's sax and flute, while offering ever more intense lead guitar options for Peter Viertel. As a result, it seems as though the inmates are running the asylum, which, while musically not always a bad idea, results in the busiest and perhaps least focused DICE album in some time. Here it seems like many of the cuts are simply way too long, particularly the aptly named closer "Falling Apart", which clings pit-bull style to a decidedly pedestrian beat, reminiscent of 80s BOWIE for most of its 10 minutes, and throws in dreadful radio "noise" to boot. Luckily little else here plumbs those depths, although "Secret Harmony" is a bizarre misstep that proves that even shorter material is not safe from the quality control police. From its frantically paced opening there is simply nowhere to go but down, and boy does it.

The rest of the tracks are good or better. I have to specifically call out "The Last Hour" which is blessed by divine flute work that sets off the more restrained but still skilled lead guitar before the sensuous sax has its turn. The pace is more deliberate and unhurried. Nove handles the keyboards, and here his supportive organ work is especially praiseworthy. "Venus and Mars" resides closest to other DICE album openers we have come to love and, while "Following the Wind" seems the heir apparent to its predecessor's "Hold the Spirit" combined with a tickling nostalgia. it also suffers most from Viertel's least subtle work as it draws close to a close. Hopefully in subsequent releases he will be more reined in and the balance between guitars, wind, and keys will be struck.

This release shows a group perhaps unsure of their next move, and, while they are by no means salting away their future, I can't help feel this won't be the DICE album to live on in eternity.

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 Eternity's Ocean by DICE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.66 | 47 ratings

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Eternity's Ocean
Dice Crossover Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I haven't heard about this band for years! They were founded somewhere in mid 70-s in former German Democratic Republic, and were not too much known even in that time's Eastern Europe , where common figure of existed rock bands was smaller than in one middle-size English town.

Later I found the information in one Polish rock site,that they re-founded band and successfully play and even regularly record albums. It wasn't easy to find more information on them, but I realised that they are still based in Leipzig and are mostly popular around former Eastern Germany and some Western Polish territories. Let say -good local band.

So it was really interesting to hear their new album - after few decades! No big surprises though - I found almost what I expected to find: melodic straight forward rock, but with nice, almost symphonic arrangements,and compositions are really long (almost all -longer than 10 minutes), what shows band orientation to prog listeners.

Music itself is quite simple, but soulful, plenty of sax and flute are added and it makes the music even more nice. Vocals are competent, if a bit old fashioned. Main problem in musicianship field is for sure the drummer - his level is strongly below average there, and too often his drumming reminds cheap drum machine's sound.

For sure, this band isn't one of higher league (even not from the first one), but their melodic symphonic rock (more rock than prog),with some Scorpions-like guitars and a bit naive and old fashioned compositions has it's own beauty. Just if you don't judge them at the high standard requirements.

No way album for real prog fan, but for those with love to melodic not too complex pop-rock with symphonic arrangements, long compositions and dreamy,romantic atmosphere, this album could be nice listening ,I believe.

My rating (with a some advance for their naive beauty) is 3.

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 Eternity's Ocean by DICE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.66 | 47 ratings

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Eternity's Ocean
Dice Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

5 stars Terrific, simply astonishing album. I have to admit that I'm greatly impressed by this music, even though when I dig down into these songs and analyze them deeply, ingredients forming it, elements of which it's made are common in Prog music. Yet, it's big.

Reminding a little bit The Tangent (especially vocals), Guy Manning's work (song composition) + synths & flute, or saxophone. It sounds vague, but it's like with blurbs. They sometimes sounds silly, but they can surprise pleasantly.

Guitars, I think that important part of Dice's sound is guitar department, but the most important thing here is not indepth examination of count of each particles here, but as I said, it's rather about feeling you get from this music as whole.

5(-), there is "something" in this music.

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 Versus Without Versus - End Part by DICE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Versus Without Versus - End Part
Dice Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Dice is a german band with a very long story and quite a big discography. Only recently I found out about this group and Versus is my first entry into their sound. Their music is very hard to define. It is at the same time quite familiar and yet original. Pehaps I should have asked KennethLevine for counseling? Well, it is obvious that they are influenced by the 70´s space rock german craze. But there is a lot more into it. There is a retro, symphonic feeling, doubtless helped by the extensive use of mellotron and other vintage sounding instruments. On the other hand, the production and recording techniques are very modern, with all the instrumentation and vocals very well balanced and clean. The result is an excellent exemple of good prog that mixes very well the old and the new.

I must say it didn´t grab me at first. The opener, Who Inflames The Universe Tonight? and the second track When The Darkness Comes took a long time to sink in. And still I don´t think they are the best ones in this CD. They are very good, ok, but there are better things on the record. However, from the third track on everything just clicks! The highlight of the album is the long and excellent 23 minute epic Hold The Spirit: an amazing roller coaster of great melodies, shifting rhythms and moods, terrific solos and perfect arranged instrumentation that gives you the impression that this tune is quite short, really. Secret Sun is another fine example of this group greatness, specially the second part.

All the musicians are very good. I found Jens Lubeck´s sax playing is a bit cliche, but his flute is just amazingly beautiful. Thre are few guitar solos but in general I liked the guitar work on this album a lot. Leader and vocalist Christian Nove handles all the bass and keyboards duties this time and he does a very good job on them. His voice is not one of the greatest on earth, but his emotional interpretation is quite strong and convincing. It fits well into this kind of music I guess.

Conclusion: it took me quite some time to fully digest and enjoy this album, but it was worth it. it also made me curious about their previous (and latter) releases. if you like space rock with good melodies and excellent modern production then you should not miss this one. A very interesting band indeed! 4 stars.

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 Dice 1979-1993 by DICE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
1.50 | 2 ratings

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Dice 1979-1993
Dice Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars While DICE formed in 1974 and cites progressive bands of the day as prime influences, this compilation mostly from their 80s output is much more a product of its era, and sounds little like what DICE would become as the 90s came to a close. This is basically 80s rock with some pop sensibilities, conjuring up some of the more popular artists of the decade with a whiff of continental flavour.

I enjoy this up front style once in a while, and tracks like "Walking in the middle of the night" and "Try to Remember" are certainly pleasant enough upbeat tunes, while the excellent instrumental "Close Your Eyes" combines electronic ambience with programmed percussion quite nicely. The melody of the Buggles-like "Forgive me" later surfaces on the slowed down proggy "The Hope has Died Forever" on the first "Within/Without" recording. "God Bless you Mr Lennon" is an earnest tribute to the Beatle that sounds like something LINDISFARNE would do. Even the track "DICE" holds some interest as a jilted lover's tune. All that said, "Dice 1979-1993" is mostly dispensable except on historic terms, if you want to explore what some of the prog bands of today might have been doing during the between times.

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 Versus Without Versus - End Part by DICE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Versus Without Versus - End Part
Dice Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars A quick glance at the track list of this, the final installment of the "Within/Without" trilogy, suggests that DICE has herein forsaken the relatively simple and direct themes of Part 2 for a more involved approach. While this inference is based on track lengths, none of which (apart from the final reprise of the trilogy theme) clocks in much below 10 minutes, in reality the overall sound of the group has not changed much. Even the addition of skilled flute/sax player Jens Lubeck merely colours the generally mellow and rich space rock, adding perhaps half a dimension to their sound rather than engendering a sea change.

The anchor for this ambitious undertaking is the 23 minute "Hold the Spirit", which offers so much more than quantity. While I personally have been convinced of the group's skill and adventurousness, this track has the capacity to silence those more demanding listeners. It giddily floats from vocal theme to instrumental theme, using hooks to enhance rather than signify its pedigree, nearly establishing a genre in the process. More than anything in the DICE discography, "Hold the Spirit" sets the group apart in progressive rock for their own style and for their beguiling range of influences both modern and classic. The flute dominated section in the latter part is particularly worthy of mention for its dancing quality, and Alex Klimentov, dedicated to the use of acoustic guitar, adds a more organic quality to some of the relaxed atmospheres.

The album's opener "Who Inflames the Universe Tonight", is a more typical offering but includes fine sax and mellotron. As we have heard before from DICE, we can detect a certain gentle swing like affect. The Moody Blues' "The Other Side of Life" might be a good comparison as a starting point, although here we find much more expansive soloing by the returning Peter Viertel. "Secret Sun" is another fine wind-enhanced song with the most catchy chorus but also cool diversions that remind me of circus music, and Nove's talking on tune style. Both Viertel and Nove (who now handles keyboards and bass), shine in their melodic soloing to set the spine a tingling. Nove seems to deploy the mellotron heavily as a background for fluid guitars and flutes. While "When Darkness Comes" is somewhat less captivating, the final curtain on the main theme manages to impress more than usual perhaps because it is slowed down and some plaintive brass is added.

Not much to complain about here. While the first installment of the trilogy had me worried that the group was going to fold into the neo prog morasse, I needn't have been concerned. Right now, I wouldn't want to pit anyone else versus Christian Nove's group.

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Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition.

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