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Dali's Dilemma - Manifesto for Futurism CD (album) cover


Dali's Dilemma


Progressive Metal

3.19 | 78 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Looking back at my collector's priorities during the early 90s (and part of the later), I cannot forget how prioritized was the prog metal element in my pursuit for knowledge about the then currents state of affairs in the prog genre - and that always led to enthusiastic purchases. Bands like Shadow Gallery, Altura, Lemur Voice, Enchant, Magellan and Dali's Dilemma soon appealed to me as favorites from the pack of records released by Magna Carta that graced my ever-growing collection. I have reviewed many albums from the aforementioned bands throughout all these years as a PA reviewer: why didn't I review this lovely album by Dali's Dilemma until now? Well, questions aside, now I have some spare time to use for a good deed, which is to praise an album that I haven't listened to for 2 or 3 years, and now I find myself loving it as dearly as I did back then. "Manifesto For Futurism" is one of those gems from the golden era of Magna Carta that should be kept from oblivion. The band's sound forged a sound very much influenced by 89-94 Dream Theater, and collaterally, generating some family airs with Benignuns-era Enchant and Shadow Gallery, only keeping a less epic approach to the compositional framework. The opener 'Within A Stare' kicks off the repertoire as a straightforward statement of what the band is all about: dynamically melodic prog metal that provides a reasonable dose of power and a sensitive use of the instrumental scheme, plus emotional singing by the effective lead vocalist. Regarding the effective style and tone delivered by, he sounds to me like a mixture of Bono and Lou Gramm with an added level of rocking power. As I said earlier, the Dream Theater reference is the most recurrent, and indeed, it will remain so for most part of the album: guitar and keyboard inputs are mostly related to the "Images" era, while the rhythm duo is more inspired by the "Awake" era. The sophomore piece 'Memories Of Yesteryear' is the album's highlight, IMHO: in its 7+ minute span, it comprises an attractive melodic development and polished performances by all parties involved, and it also features the most interesting set of diverse instrumental passages during the interlude. 'Despite The Waves' brings a lighter flair and an optimistic aura, which is convenient after two tracks that bore some shades of reflective nostalgia underneath the muscular sonic framework. 'Whispers' is a lovely, romantic keyboard solo: with only piano and string orchestrated backing, this piece conveys sheer melancholy in a most powerful manner. Track 6 'Andromeda Sunrise' is also a solo piece, only this time performed as a duet of acoustic and electric guitars: the melancholic vibe is similar but a bit more intense, something like a soft acoustic Hackett interlude contaminated by Vai's calculated soloing. Between these two solo pieces is 'Ashen Days', a track that bears a similar rhythmic structure to that of 'Despite The Waves', but its metallic punch and colorfulness are definitely more related to tracks 1-2. At this point, the listener must be quite aware of what one can expect from a Dali's Dilemma song, so they can enjoy the dynamics and well-crafted melodic developments of tracks such as 'This Time Around', 'Can't You See' and 'Living In Fear'. 'Hills Of Memory', on the other hand, departs from the standard and ventures into U2-related realms: they do a great job at it, really. As for the other three aforementioned tracks, 'Can't You See' delivers a fluid alternation of aggressive and constrained passages (the rhythm duo works on the top of its skills), while 'Living In Fear' reshapes the bombastic brilliance that we found in the first two tracks, even straying a bit afar from the DT pattern and getting a bit closer to the FW influence ("Pleasant SDhade"- era). All in all, "Manifesto For Futurism" is an excellent addition to any good prog collection with metal-prog sensibilities: Dali's Dilemma should not be forgotten.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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