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




Eclectic Prog

3.50 | 78 ratings

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3 stars Symphonic Rock Swedish band, formed in early-70's by two friends, keyboardist Leif Larsson and guitarist Orjan Strandberg.As a duo they had already started writing original material, influenced by the likes of Procol Harum, Gentle Giant, The Nice and King Crimson, before meeting drummer Per Andersson and finding also bassist Fredrik Vildo through an ad.Dice recorded material for a full-length release already from early 1977 at the Frescati Studios, what was actually to become the ''Four Riders of the Apocalypse'' album, released only some 15 years later by Belle Antique.

At this point Dice had no lead singer and focused on writing complex and progressive all instrumental material with a dense and pompous sound, influenced by the likes of E.L.P., KING CRIMSON, KAIPA, FOCUS and GENESIS.I am pretty sure that you find every note in this album like if played previously by a Prog legend, so in terms of originality Dice had not much to offer.But musically their ideas were pretty nice, complicated, intricate, romantic and definitely out of fashion, when talking about 1977.They made proper and continuous use of the Hammond organ and Mellotron and had a deep sense of Classicism in their arrangements, which ended up to sound quite melodramatic with bombastic, laid-back and pompous passages.Guitar work appears to land somewhere between ROINE STOLT, JAN AKKERMAN and ROBERT FRIPP and the keyboard parts are coming straight out of a GENESIS or KING CRIMSON album.The arrangements are mostly impressive with symphonic overtones and some light jazzy pinches, going from organ-drenched fanfares to melodious themes and from rich, powerful interplays and sudden tempo changes to fairytale-like tunes and harmonies.Belle Antique made a great work on refining the sound and the recording quality sounds pretty fine to my ears.

Do not expect a personal style by this Sweidish band.Be ready though to listen to some well-crafted Symphonic Rock with Classical variations and grandiose musicianship all the way.Warmly recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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