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Dice - The Four Riders of the Apocalypse CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.50 | 78 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Swedish prog group DICE released one album in 1978 and disbanded, but one year before the album they had recorded this work that saw the light of day in 1992. My first impression, listening to the 11- minute opener 'War': a bit muddy production but very powerful, ambitious and dramatic symphonic instrumental prog with lots of organ. ELP reference is therefore obvious but maybe the compositions remind me more of YES and GENESIS, with some Scandinavian touch la KAIPA. Oh, now the guitar got very Steve Howe-ish! Followed by Emersonian organ fireworks.

'Disease' starts in a more careful manner but the tension increases along the way. Indeed there's an Apocalyptic feel in this hectic music. Again, some Foxtrot-era Genesis type of sounds. Good melodies, and apart from slight sense of less natural cut-and-paste progress in multi-part composition, the dramatic, narrative feeling stays pretty well in balance. 'Greed' has a fast tempo and by now I'm getting a bit frustrated at the ELPish, virtuotic approach. Tiresome prog in large doses to me. Happily there are delicate piano interludes, more in the style of Wakeman than Emerson. Hmm, it's soon followed by a hilarious, jazzy section that makes the ELP side stronger again.

The four-part 'Death' starts very doomily with sinister organ joined soon by the whole band. I like the creepy, quieter part with Mellotron's flute sounds. Death approaches, help us dear Lord! The final section ('Heaven') has a cathartic grandiosity.

Could have been nice to hear some occasional vocals too, but I respect their decision to stay instrumental. The musical talent in this quartet is very notable. The named influences are rather clear along the way but still this is a worthy addition to a prog collection, so I'll round my 3 stars up.

Matti | 4/5 |


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