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


Dali's Dilemma

Progressive Metal

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2 stars So you need to hear an intelligent, but essential hard driving meaty prog rock album ! Why not turn on DALI'S DILEMMA ? Somewhere out in the "LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT / RUSH / DREAM THEATER' school of thought comes this great act who make no mistake on their hard rock tendencies. Highly strung / energetic rock with wild guitar, heavy drumming , broad keyboards and great vocals and not sounding like many of the horrid "Prog-Metal" groups. Musical chaos is constructed through a wonderful mix of varied themes... from high tempo to soft and slow movements! Songs are well conceived and offer many tempo and sonic changes holding your attention from the get go. A blinding fast, but good progressive rock album.
Report this review (#28836)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars A naive record, first it is a shem that the band only put one record, amd second, they didn't have the chance to explore their capabilities as a band. mastermind Matt guillory always working with bigger artists and the lack of support from the record complany techniclly "grounded" the band. The vocals, and the instrumentation are good enough to be mention, but the influence of dream theater is so big, that sometimes the solos and the mid-tempos makes you think these guys are playing a tribute. In the end, is a nice record and these record helps you understand who is the mind behind records like "mullmuzzler" and some tributes in the magna carta stock
Report this review (#28837)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars A fairly good effort by these guys. Well crafted and complex-skill demanding music. Some solos are really amazing, you know, guitar along with KBs making imposible figures. The first 4 songs are incredible. The album gets boring then on, for me at least. The bad thing is their lack of originality, and they have lots of musical clichés( tan, tararán,tan, tararán!-like stuff). If youre craving for more prog metal get this one.
Report this review (#28838)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Some great voice melodies, fine arrangements and stuning solos make this record very intresting for the Prog-Metal fans that got disapointed with the las DT's album. It's only a matter of oppinion but I think that the band has their own way of playing, i mean that they're not the shadow of Dream Theater.

Report this review (#28839)
Posted Tuesday, August 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Pretty standard prog metal fare in a similar style to bands such as DREAM THEATER and label mates SHADOW GALLERY. Though there are some great moments on the album, (notably the opener "Within a Stare" - which features some fierce riffing and good interplay) many of the latter tracks are quite forgettable for me, with no particular hook or section standing out enough to truly elevate the album above the norm. The musicianship cannot be faulted and if you are a fan of prog metal then you could do alot worse than add this decent effort to your collection.
Report this review (#28840)
Posted Monday, October 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I consider DALI'S DILEMMA as one of the shining stars of Prog-Metal back in 1999. These Americans have crafted some truly brilliant progressive music: complex, abstract, surrealistic but also astonishingly quite catchy and reasonably easy to digest. All the musicians involved seem to be at the top of their game.all are definitely -for lack of better terminology- 'more than qualified' as Prog(Metal) musicians. These guys are not shy to let rip with their instruments, whether it be lightning sweep lead guitars licks, tasty bass chops (the bass is a bit underplayed, but some of the bass lines are quite tasty indeed), busy drum-fills or the keyboards weaving in and out amidst everything else. As with most Prog-Metal bands, DALI'S DILEMMA also frequently executes complicated sweeps, arpeggio and tricky syncopated movements. These bursts of complex instrumentation seem to flow logically though.whereas a lot of Prog-Metal bands try to force play these kinds of things. It's apparent that the band put a lot of attention and care when composing their songs.the results are an intricate marriage of technicality and great songwriting. Sure, it's very common for '90s Prog-Metal to mimic some of their more celebrated peers.DREAM THEATER in DALI'S DILEMMA's case. At a glance though, only keys-man, Matt Guillory, is at fault in carrying over the DT sound on board DALI'S DILEMMA's boat. When Matt Guillory's keyboards are at the forefront, you can certainly hear a heavy dose of DT's sound and style. It's a good thing that guitarist Patrick Reyes utilizes a slightly different approach. Reyes still exploits the sound and staccato riffing style 'patented' by John Petrucci, but his solos remind me more of Steve Vai, Malmsteen or even James Murphy. The fact that James Murphy is handling production duties for bass, guitar and keyboards might be the deciding factor for the distinctive guitar tone though. What's most impressive about DALI'S DILEMMA are their masterful playing and performance.even though this is only their debut, everything's flawless and the whole band perform like a well-oiled engine. Front man, Matthew Bradley has a very unique singing approach. He doesn't wail and sing in stratospheric regions like most Prog-Metal singers. Bradley's voice is pop rockish, his delivery is a bit like Steve Hogarth (MARILLION). Bradley seems to be trying to sing in a slightly coarse voice, but his softer style still surfaces from time to time. His range isn't spectacular, but he can certainly deliver the goods. Bradley also doesn't like to use vibrato in his vocal delivery, once again he's unlike most Prog-Metal singers. The vocals take some getting used to, but once you're accustomed to it, Bradley's voice is very comforting.and definitely a plus for DALI'S DILEMMA's overall presentation. "Manifesto For Futurism" is a Prog-Metal album chock-full of goodies, highly technical and top notch in every way. Tracks like "Miracles In Yesteryear", "Ashen Days" and "Can't You See" will be ringing in your ears and imprinted inside your brain for days.long after the CD stopped spinning in your stereo. Just like the cover artwork, DALI'S DILEMMA's music is very surreal, at times abstract.puzzling for novices but a work of genius for the more initiated. My highest recommendations! * DD - Paradigma Records/Star 105.5 FM (Surabaya, Indonesia) *
Report this review (#28841)
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is one of the few cd's i brought back to the recordstore after a lot of playing it; i couldn't get "into it". The songs sound like a second-hand Dream Theater-output. the musicians try to sound like DT but never reach the high level of DT. But the thing that bothered me the most was the very weak vocals. It's a sort of screaming or trying to be a singer( in a prog-metal band). It is no wonder that this was their first and last album. Overall: it is simply not good (enough).
Report this review (#28842)
Posted Thursday, December 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Technically the album is excellent. The music is a fine progressive metal melodic and very complex. Only "Hills of Memory" is a weak in the album and other point is the need of more feelin´. Highly recommendable for fans of bands that like Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery, Vanden Plas. OST and Symphony X.
Report this review (#28844)
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I got this album when it first came out and it is still in my CD changer. It is one of my all time favorites. The compositions and performances are fantastic and the melodies are killer. Having worked with Matt Bradley in the past and knowing where he is coming from musically it is amazing to hear him in this context. He really stands up to the challenge of this genre and delivers his unique touch to the fold. His harmonies are always amazing and this record is no exception. The musicians on this album are extremley competent and turn in some amazing performances that are intelligent and multi dimentional. I understand that many compare them to DT however I hear them doing thier own thing and I applaud them for this album. Despite the Waves has the whole package, great vocal melodies and harmonies, killer riffs, and amazing solos. My only critique is the that I prefer a beefier drum sound. Jeremy is a flawless player I just think he got cheated in the drum production and mix. The guitar tones are full and Patrick's execution is great though a bit tame here and there. It would be cool to hear them improvise a bit more, but then again...this is prog!! Great album, I would love to hear a follow up!!
Report this review (#28846)
Posted Friday, April 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This debut album by American DALI'S DILEMMA created controversy to me. The rave reviews about this album had made me curios on what sort of progressive metal music the guys in the band made. The fact when I spun the CD at the first time and did not create any "WOW!" experience had pushed me to a self question: "what's wrong with me?". So, I forced myself to have some more spins. My appreciation towards this album grew after more than five spins. I think their music is in a way too technical and heavily influenced by Dream Theater. DALI's DILEMMA's music is a bit rough to my ears. I know, it's probably the production and mixing issue. But it goes beyond that because in most transitions I feel that they are like being "forced" and as a result they end up with a collection of some disjointed parts. So, it's composition issue. On musicianship, I think the boys in the band have delivered at their fullest, except on vocal department. I would say that this album is an excellent technical progressive metal album with some areas of improvement in sound production / mixing and composition.

Within A Stare (5:50) kicks off the album with industrial music loop featuring keyboard sounds. I thought it's a space music and I was listening to something like Ozric Tentacles or Hawkwind. But when the manual drums enter the part with full music and dynamic bass lines it clearly indicates metal vein. Keyboard and some guitar riffs color the music, combined with inventive and attractive (at least to my ears!) bass lines. The mediocre (sorry ..) voice line enters the music in melodic way. Out of many tracks that are featured in this album, I think this track is truly a perfect one. It has a very catchy melody especially during choruses and when multiple voice lines play together. Guitars, keyboard, drums and bass guitar play their part wonderfully. I fully agree with what Dicky Dimensi has put in previous review about this album. For me personally, this track is a true adrenalin exploder. It's my favorite, really! The feeling I experience when enjoying this track is a mixture of happiness and darkness. Confusing, isn't it? But it's very nice though! [*****]

Miracles In Yesteryear (7:11) indicates how strong the Dream Theater factor in its music. This is a purely technical track with all musicians contribute their flawless delivery of their individual skills. I love the bass guitar solo in the middle of this track. Composition-wise, you might refer this song with DT's "Images and Words" album. Even, I found that some riffs similar with the riffs in IaW album of DT. It's an excellent track. [****]

Despite The Waves (5:52) opens with a dynamic drum play on top of thin guitar work at background followed with guitar work. Keyboard plays at background. When voice line enters, the guitar turns to produce riffs. Oh well, even I mentioned that this band is a bit lacking in vocal department, but I also find that this become the strengths as well as when Matthew Bradley voice is combined with music produces unique music. The interlude that features guitar solo is bit being forced as it does not produce a smooth transition. [***]

Whispers (2:06) represents the band's exploration to classical outfit with melodic piano and keyboard works. It's totally an instrumental piece with a relaxing mode - to ease the listeners as the first three tracks have full blasts of progressive metal music. It's a nice track. [*** ˝ ].

Ashen Days (5:30) brings the music back into a kind of heavy riffs music with relatively medium-fast tempo with a good combination of keyboard at the back. Drumming, as also the case with other tracks, indicates some variations that span across the song. Guitar solo in the middle of the track is truly stunning, backed with bass lines. It continues with keyboard solo in alternate. It may remind you on the duets between Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci in Dream Theater. [*** ]

Andromeda Sunrise (2:00) a wonderfully crafted "unplugged" outfit featuring simple acoustic guitar work as rhythm section, while electric guitar performs its melody in long sustain notes. The electric guitar sometimes produces howling sounds that enrich the texture of this short instrumental piece. Good composition. [*** ˝ ]

This Time Around (4:51) - uhm . title-wise it sounds like Deep Purple's tune from "Come Taste The Band" album - but it's totally different kind of music. It's a straight forward progressive metal song combining the sounds of guitars, keyboards and piano with some heavy riffs (good ones!!!). When I observe the composition in great details, I can find how dynamic the drums are played in this track with some staccato insertions. Inventive keyboards have enriched the song. In this track, the guitar solo is performed differently than other tracks - it's like a guitar solo in hard rock song. It has great ending. [****]

Hills Of Memory (4:51) opens with a simple electric guitar fills followed with voice line and drums played as percussive - no hard hat or cymbal sound. The tempo is relatively medium with guitar fills as main rhythm section and relatively with no heavy riffs; only some soft ones during choruses. It does not sound like any prog met tune. [***]

Can't You See (5:17) brings the music into a faster tempo style with heavy riffs at the opening combined with staccato style. When the voice line enters, the music turns lighter with some soft riffs and nice melody. The music flows as a straight forward hard rock music, combined with riffs during transitions. The keyboard solo at the ending part is stunning; especially combined with prog met music at the background and dynamic drumming. [*** ˝ ]

Living In Fear (7:42) opens with a dynamic combination between drums and guitar work that brings the music into heavy riffs augmented with improvised piano sounds (very nice!). I enjoy this track especially with the staccato riffs and voice line. Well, I know that the voice quality of the lead singer is mediocre BUT I enjoy when he sings with this composition. In some transitions, piano work inserts the music nicely, continued with the riffs. Keyboards also play thinly at the background. It's an excellent composition! [****]


This debut album shows the band's potential in progressive metal arena. With some limitations on vocal range, when it's blend together with the music, I can enjoy the harmony produced throughout the album. I can hear some "forced" transitions between disjointed parts even though it grew after couple of spins. However, the band should work on its transition pieces as to ensure the next musical segment is not like a disjointed part. I don't quite really know about the follow-up after this album as it has now entered year 6 after their debut in 1999. Overall rating is 3.5 out of 5 stars. Fans of prog met would favor this album. Keep on proGGin' .!

Progressively yours, GW

Report this review (#28847)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars From the beggining a might say is a prog bomb. First the voice, and second instrumental is very, very good and technical. The man behind the keybords is a master. A wonderful album of the 90' and in prog music . Try it, you won't be dissapointed.
Report this review (#28848)
Posted Thursday, June 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent addition to any prog music collection - I think this says it all. It is not essential- but it sure will make your collection all the better. Most compare this album to "Scenes From a Memory" and I agree- at times you are saying- "What the hell? This is not Scenes?" Greet musicianship- decent vocals- but one problem- this album was released in 1999- and they have not done a thing since. Are they done? I sure hope not- this is for sure a prog album to pick up!!!!!!
Report this review (#36713)
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars uffff...., another DT copy, and a bad one, an uninspired band trying, so hard, to be DT, but they didn't get the message about prog: "progression", not "regression", not trying so hard to be another band, like Fish trying to be Gabriel, it's so boring to listen old stuff with the name of new.

This album is just a copy, a band one, of DT, and one of those copies that you are not whiling to listen again, poor performance, and no ideas, just a waste of time

Report this review (#38581)
Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars- This album has been steadily growing on me over the past couple of months..the talent this band has is incredible- its a shame that they may no longer BE a band- given this album was released about 6 years ago- and they havnt done anything since...this album is compared to Images and Wrods...well, because it sounds a lot like that joke. If you like that album..then pick this one up- these guys can play!
Report this review (#38786)
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I got this CD (which I have to order from the internet) based on their demo. Back then they called themselves chaos something, I can't really remember. The demo blow me away. But upon receiving the album, I was very dissapointed. Songs on the demo were rearranged and it sounded bad. And Bradley's vocal was not as good as on the demo. Seriously, the guy can sing, you have to listen to the demo. Skill wise, they're all good, no doubt and the production was forgiveable but I just could not help thinking someone must have dip their fingers in where they should not have and caused this aweful change. I would love to hear their second album because I love Matt's keys. He should have been in Dream Theater.

If anyone has that demo, please contact me. I lost it when my PC crashed.

Report this review (#44342)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars They're not a bad band nor are they a direct copy of Dream Theater as some have accused them of being. However, it is a debut release and it lacks some in direction. But that's not uncommon, the debut releases for Symphony X and Shadow Gallery were also less than stellar when compared to their later output.

The vocals are a little lacking given the potential shown by the rest of the band. Then again, I thought James Labrie was a suspect singer back in the day. When my friends and I saw DT a few times during the Images and Words tour, he just didn't understand how to sing live with the aid of a PA system. He tried to sing as if he was unamplified and his voice often cracked in the process. I'm glad he addressed that problem.

All in all, nothing incredible and yet it's still a good listen. If you can pick the album up on-the-cheap like I did, it's definitely worth $7. Too bad they are more than likely defunct as a band, would have been interesting to see if they could have evolved into something.....

Report this review (#72080)
Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Dali's Dilemma is a one album prog-metal band with symphonic and neo-prog tendencies. That pretty much sums them up right there. They aren't original at all, but they are very talented and capable musicians.

Top notch musicianship and fine songwriting grace us from the start. The first two tracks, "Within a Stare" and "Miracles in Yesteryear," are the two highlights of the album. Unfortunately, from this point on, it goes downhill. Not that the upcoming songs are bad, but they don't exactly keep up with the first two. In actuality, the reason is probably just because the music is a little too typical and the further in you get, the less interested you become. I think if I started from the end of the album, I would give the last track more credit. "Living in Fear" is the other keeper off this album, but you won't get much out of it after enduring the first nine tracks.

The guys play their music well. The vocals are mediocre: not much of a range (sometimes it sounds like he's straining to get the higher notes out), and a fitting, but sometimes irritating tone. It's not bad by any means, but with a couple exceptions, it's a hardly memorable release. Maybe if they put out a second album they could have gone somewhere, but that didn't happen. The three mentioned tracks are still worth checking out.

2 1/2 stars

Report this review (#77782)
Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars Keyboardist Matt Guillory is probably the most well known member of this band in the Prog world. He played on ZERO HOUR's debut, as well on EXPLORER CLUB's debut, and on the MULLMUZZLER project. By the way vocalist Matthew Bradley also sang on that EXPLORER CLUB album. Brothers Patrick and Steve Reyes play lead guitar and bass respectivly. What freaked me out a little was how much the lead guitarist sounded like Jasun Tipton from ZERO HOUR at times. He has that trade mark guitar sound of Jasuns' down perfectly on several occasions. I really like that the bass is prominant on this album. Each one of these guys play very impressively. By the way Matt thanks among others Jasun and Troy Tipton, Kevin Moore, John Pertucci, Doug Ott and ENCHANT, and Jim Matheos and FATES WARNING.

"Within A Stare" opens with the volume turned down as we can hear synths and drums. It kicks in heavily before a minute. The bass is fantastic and so is the drumming. Vocals arrive after a minute,synths are in the background. That bass / drum show is back before 2 1/2 minutes. There's that Tipton-like guitar 4 minutes in and heavy riffs follow then a guitar solo. Nice. That bass / drum show returns 5 minutes in. Tipton-like guitar ends it. "Miracles In Yesteryears" opens with this amazing drum / guitar section. It calms down as reserved vocals arrive. It picks back up to a solid soundscape. The guitar sounds cool with background synths and vocals. An excellent bass / synth interlude 3 minutes in. Heaviness follows. Some amazing complex guitar work in this one around 4 minutes. Tipton-like guitar 5 minutes in. "Despite The Waves" hits the ground running with high pitched guitar and some more incredible drumming. Synths are in the background as vocals arrive. A nice heavy sound comes and goes. Tipton-like guitar 3 1/2 minutes in. Take away the heaviness and i'm thinking ENCHANT.

"Whispers" is a short instrumental of piano and synths throughout. "Ashen Days" is heavy with synths to begin with as vocals come in. Nice bass as the guitar comes grinding in. Guitar solo 2 1/2 minutes in with a calm a minute later. The intro section is back 4 minutes in as themes are repeated. "Andromeda Sunrise" opens with acoustic guitar with electric guitar coming in and playing lazy melodies over top. This sounds really good. "This Time Around" is an accessible and melodic tune. Drumming stands out early. The chorus sounds terrific. Nice heavy guitar sounds during the verses. Good tune. "Hills Of Memory" is a mid paced, straight forward track. Reserved vocals, acoustic guitar and synths start things off. The highlight is the bass after 4 minutes. "Can't You See" is better.Heavy with powerful drums as the guitar starts to make some noise. Vocals are reserved at first, then riffs come in. I love the guitar 3 minutes in and then after 3 1/2 minutes. Nice. "Living In Fear" blows me away with that intro. The complex drumming and guitar are killer. Then the synths sounds come in and they're are off the charts ! The bass is huge. This is unreal ! Vocals come in as the song levels out unfortunately. A RUSH moment 4 minutes in and after 7 minutes. Complex guitar 4 1/2 minutes in and 6 minutes in and to end it.

I can see why some aren't too thrilled with this album, but I also see why there are so many raving reviews on the internet about this recording. The playing is beyond outstanding but the vocals are average. 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#177492)
Posted Sunday, July 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I expected some high brow post rock album when I grabbed this album from a record shop before PA even was conceived.

What I got was a progressive metal album with strong references to Dream Theater. The guitars and the keyboards is very much down the Dream Theater alley. Dali's Dilemma is not Dream Theater copies though because their album was recorded and released before Dream Theater developed into this direction you find on this album.The songs also have some added influences from Fates Warning and Symphony X. I am not sure about Rush though. In any case; this album is a middle of the road progressive metal album.

The songs are decent, but nothing more than that. I find the guitars and keyboards pretty attractive and this is the main good point for me. My gripes is the pretty weak vocals and the lack of any memorable tracks. This is a good, but highly forgetable album in my view. I give it three stars because the musicianship is good and there is no serious flaws with this album.

3 stars

Report this review (#248537)
Posted Saturday, November 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
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.
Report this review (#264307)
Posted Thursday, February 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
3 stars The Missing 90's Dream Theater Album

The Prog Metal genre is known for having plenty of bands that just assimilate the sound 'created' by Dream Theater rather than adventuring themselves through this fairly new genre like Opeth, Devin Townsend, Cynic and others(I'm no metal expert nor serious fan) have done; Dali's Dilemma is pretty much one of those Dream Theater so-called ''clones''.

You can swear that John Petrucci, Kevin Moore, John Myung and Mike Portnoy joined together once again in 1999 and tried a new singer out. The result is obviously technically great from the instrumental side of things. The compositions while far from being bad per se, they totally resemble the style of compositions made by Dream Theater back in the good ol' days of Kevin Moore.

You've got the blasting shred solos, the great atmospheric keyboards, the diverse but powerful drumming and a not very audible bass, but when audible it's superb. The only aspect from Dali's Dilemma that make an easy distinguishment from both bands is clearly the vocals by Matthew Bradley who is far from being the high-pitched vocalist that James LaBrie was back then in the 90's.

To end this short, but hopefully clear review, I'll just add that this is actually my first encounter with these "Dream Theater clones". I for one, enjoy this album because it's as strong as most of Dream Theater's material done back in the 90's, so anybody who misses the ol' Dream Theater like I do, this band right here might comfort you. However, if you have already heard a dozen of these "clones" and are about to burn your speakers the next time you hear another one, you should better avoid this.

3 stars: if it had been released by Dream Theater it would probably have been 4 stars, however the lack of originality takes off a star.

Report this review (#265073)
Posted Tuesday, February 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars After hearing and falling in love with the song 'Within a Stare', I was determined to find this album on CD. I had read other reviews for 'Manifesto' online, and the common opinion was that this album was a "bland, generic, Dream Theater clone". Nothing too much to get worried about then, since this seems to be the typical description for most prog metal bands these days.

I wouldn't go as far as to say this is bland and generic, but whilst the album starts off with some amazing tracks, about halfway through it tends to drop dead, and leaves you feeling like you've been listening to the same song on repeat.

That's not to say this is a bad album, in fact, there are some incredible compositions here that definitely make this a rare gem worth owning. The problem is that for every classic, there's a rather dull, lifeless filler song. Sadly, Dali's Dilemma never had the chance to rectify this with a follow-up album, as this was their only release. At least, at the time of writing this review the band have long-since split up. Still, as far as debut albums go, this one is still pretty decent, and shows a band that had a lot of potential.

With such highlights as 'Within a Stare', Miracles in Yesteryear', 'Despite the Waves', 'This Time Around' and the short- but-sweet piano ballad 'Whispers', this is still an album worth checking out, even if it isn't anything you've never heard before.

Report this review (#1742610)
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2017 | Review Permalink

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