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


Dali's Dilemma


Progressive Metal

3.20 | 77 ratings

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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

Gatot | 3/5 |


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