Neo-Prog • Netherlands

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Dial biography
Dial is a Swedish/Dutch band founded by Liselotte Hegt , Rommert van der Meer (both in Cirrha Nova) and Kristoffer Gildenlöw (PAIN OF SALVATION, DARK SUNS, LANA LANE). They began Dial as a hobby & a way to work on music outside their respective bands. But in the fall of 2003, with Gildenlöw leaving Pain of Salvation, Hegt & van der Meer out of Cirrha Niva, it became a more serious enterprise.
With the three working out musical ideas, they recorded their first demo at home in 2005. Producer Devon Graves was contacted in 2006, and after hearing their re-recorded & re-mixed demo, joined them to help produce their debut.

They wrote and recorded their debut album first before any label deal, so as to follow their intention to make music they liked without any compromises. Thus, once they went about sending it around as a completed work to record labels, it was, in the band's words, a case of take it or leave it . Signing to Progrock Records, the debut was released in 2007.

Describing themselves as a mix of alternative, rock, and progressive, they stand as an example of today's breed of Neo Prog.

See also:

- Pain of Salvation

Dial official website

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DIAL discography

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

4.13 | 14 ratings

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DIAL Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Synchronized  by DIAL album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.13 | 14 ratings

Dial Neo-Prog

Review by titiopentelho

4 stars First, a little background...

Synchronized, DIAL's debut album was released in 2007. The band begun as a hobby, in 2003, but became official when Kristoffer Gildenlöw was kicked from Pain of Salvation. At the time, Romert Van Der Meer and Liselotte Hegt were already out of Cirrha Niva. Liselotte and Kristoffer married just before the band's beggining, so it was all connected.

Pain of Salvation had some of its identity(as well as part of its fans) taken away when Kristoffer left (see the difference between Scarsick and the earlyer albums). This said, it is quite normal to think that what's about to come out of the speakers when you first put "Synchronized" in your sound system is a "Pain of Salvation"-like sound.

The intriguing thing... It's not.

The first song, "Beautiful" starts with some weird metallic sounds, then with some guitar resonance at the background. Liselotte Hegt sings this song, and her voice sounds powerfull and awesome. It's mostly a hard rock piece.

Then comes "Sadness", the second song. It's sung by Kristoffer Gildenlöw (the Cello parts come from his hands as well), and there you see a little resemblance with Pain of Salvation: his voice. But that's all. The song mood is quite different from everything else. It's a mix of sadness and joy over it's parts. The keyboard themes deserve special attention when listening.

The third song is "Jewel". I read somewhere it's not a DIAL original, but a cover. Couldn't check this, though. It's got a great riff, and probably the most overdriven in the album. Liselotte's voice has less depth than in the first song, but it's still powerfull. Chorused guitars, acoustic guitar solos, filters over drums and voice, and a piano theme that you can whistle arround make this song worth a special listening.

"Candyland" is an unpredictable movement in the album. Liselotte's voice now has a sweet and childish tone in the verses, and a powerfull and loud tone in the choruses. But that is not all... The song uses almost no guitar, having almost entirely a piano backdrop for lyrics that speak of a girl's dream, with Mickey Mouse, Fred Astaire, twinkling stars and stuff like that.

Moving on, with "Green Knees"... It's a rather melancholic song, with Kristoffer's voice leading and Liselotte's voice with some weird effects in the background. The song itself is quite calm, yet sad. It may resemble a little of Pain of Salvation's style. Fingered guitar and fretless bass give the starting mood of the song, which then moves on to a little piano interlude and into a solo, with a more forte base. It's the kind of song to listen in that rainy/cloudy day, when all you want to do is walk arround.

The next song is "Hello", and it's the sixth. Interesting voice arrangements, with piano and forte intercaling in the instruments... Kristoffer and Liselotte share the voices in this track. Nothing above the average, though.

"Points of View" is an interesting piece inside the album. It's a little more happy and decompromised than the rest of the album. It's got interesting lyrics, as well as a pretty good work with voices in the choruses. Most of the song goes in a normal fashion, up to a point it gets to a strange yet interesting interlude using all voices in the band (including Romert Van Der Meer's) with a nice guitar work, and it ends calmly with th efretless bass and accoustic guitar.

"Wish it Away" is perhaps the most depressive song in the album, but still worth listening. Nice keyboards and smooth voice from Kristoffer, that later is enhanced with overdubs and Liselotte's vocals. Quite a combo. Romert's guitar deserves special attention here, it's quite expressive. Not really virtuoso... It just fits perfectly.

The next song is "Wounded" It's another strange piece, with 'backwards' effects over the keyboards and snare drum. Liselotte's voice now has a sensual tone, with a powerful pitch and some distortion. She overdubs herself into a nice voice harmony. The song ends as it begins: strange and undecyphered.

Then comes "Nature's Cruelty", a short piece made mainly with keyboards and Liselotte's voice, with a guitar showing up in some parts. It's worth listening simply by the fact that it sounds clean, spacy and beautiful.

"Childhood Dreams" is the last song, and the longest. Sung by Kristoffer, it's another piece with a sad tone, but it's brilliant. The initial mood is created simply with accoustic guitars. When the voice (or whisper) comes in, the bass backs it in melody. Lyrics are about growing up but missing childhood. Kristoffer then speaks about living the childhood dreams. This session gave me shivers when I first listened to it with my closed eyes, no light in my room. Great guitar licks through the song, and the best solo of the album at the end. A song filled with feeling.

Throughout the album, it's possible to see the effort to make the songs as clean and good as it can be. The instruments can be distiguished easily in any section, but yet are harmonic and clean. Voice harmony had a special work. The album was made to be listened clearly. Odd and confusing sessions are part of the album's experience, and well balanced with the other parts, the ones not confusing.

Also, it's possible to see few or no traces of Pain of Salvation's style during the album, which is good for the purpose of demonstrating how versatile a single musician can be.

Dial, in its debut album has shown a great potential to grow in any direction they wish to. It's a band with a lot to evolve and a lot to create. It has no limits, and it's in a good shape as of the release of this first album (at least better than most bands in their debuts).

That's why it deserves 4 stars. ---

I'm sorry for any language errors (I'm not a native), as well as the lenghth of the text and the way it's been written, if you didn't liked it (first review ever).


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